Tumour response following high-dose intratumoural application of Viscum album on a patient with adenoid cystic carcinoma.
BMJ Case Rep. 2014 ;2014. Epub 2014 Jul 31. PMID: 25082867
Paul Georg Werthmann
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare type of cancer that typically originates in the salivary glands. Surgical removal can lead to functional loss and psychological distress. Viscum album extract (VAE) is a herbal remedy with dose-dependent cytotoxic, apoptogenic and immunological effects. In some case reports, tumour regression has been observed following high-dose local applications of VAE. An active 88-year-old man with fast-growing ACC of the hard palate refused surgical removal and received high-dose intratumoural injections of VAE (alone) over a 10-month period. The tumour decreased in size, softened and loosened from its surroundings. A biopsy during the course showed inflammation. The patient remained well and without functional limitations during the therapy and follow-up period (5 months). VAE produced no reported side effects. This aged patient exemplifies a satisfying course of ACC under VAE resulting in good quality of life and partial tumour regression.