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Mistletoe extract did not increase survival in pancreatic cancer

Mistletoe extract did not increase survival in pancreatic cancer

This national, multicenter study was conducted between 2016 and 2022.

– We saw no difference in how long patients lived nor in their overall quality of life when we added ME treatment, says study leader Catherine Wood, specialist in oncology and palliative medicine, Department of Diagnostics and Intervention, Umeå University.

Previous studies have shown that treating ME can help pancreatic cancer patients live longer and improve their quality of life. But the results of the Mistral study were different.

We were surprised that our results differed greatly from previous studies. Getting a positive survival result for this disease was sure to be good news.

An important difference compared to previous studies is that MISTRAL was a randomized, double-blind study, that is, with randomization where neither patients nor doctors knew who was given the ME treatment or placebo. However, some patients could have guessed they were receiving ME treatment due to injection site reactions, but this did not appear to have affected the results.

Our results will be important for those who care for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Although we did not see any effect of ME treatment in this study, the study also did not show any risks of its use. Our study does not answer the question of whether ME treatment is effective in other tumors, says Katherine Wood.

the study
Wode K, Kienle GS, Björ O, Fransson P, Sharp L, Elander NO, Bernhardson BM, Johansson B, Edwinsdotter Ardnor C, Scheibling U, Hök Nordberg J, Henriksson R: Mistletoe extract in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (MISTRAL)..
Dutch Arztable Int 2024; 121: 347-54. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.m2024.0080

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