Research: WERTHMANN and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 248

Abstract

WERTHMANN and COLLEAGUES, 1 Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology at the University Witten/Herdecke, Zechenweg 6, D-79111 Freiburg, Germany. paul.werthmann@ifaemm.de ‘ 2 Practice for General Medicine, Klosteramthof 1, D-30974 Wennigsen, Germany. lothar-kindermann@t-online.de ; 3 Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology at the University Witten/Herdecke, Zechenweg 6, D-79111 Freiburg, Germany; Center for Complementary Medicine, Institute for Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Breisacherstr. 115B, 79106 Freiburg, Germany. gunver.kienle@ifaemm.de present a case study with long-time survival from Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) treated with Viscum album extracts (VAE).

Background

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive, neuroendocrine skin tumor with frequent local recurrence, lymph node involvement, distant metastasis, and a high mortality rate. Viscum album extracts (VAE) are a widely used adjunct in cancer treatment and show cytotoxic and immune-modulating effects.

Methodology

A 64-year-old woman was diagnosed with a MCC of the left forearm. In the following course of 21 years, she experienced 4 episodes of lymph node relapse (axillary, submandibular, axillary, clavicular).

Results

All lesions were surgically excised. The patient declined chemotherapy and radiation and opted for adjuvant treatment with local subcutaneous VAE injections. Currently-21 years after first diagnosis and 9.5 years after the last relapse-the patient is tumour-free, in good health, and without functional limitations.

Conclusion

The presented case shows long-time survival in a patient with MCC treated with surgery and VAE injections. The immune system plays a key role in tumorigenesis of MCC. VAE enhances several immune pathways and might therefore contribute to immunologic tumor control in MCC. The role of VAE in MCC should further be investigated.

References

Werthmann PG1, Kindermann L2, Kienle GS3. A 21-year course of Merkel cell carcinoma with adjuvant Viscum album extract treatment: A case report. Complement Ther Med. Jun 2018, 38:58-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.04.001. Epub Apr 9 2018.

Comment

Further clinical research and study is warranted for cancer treatment with Viscum album extracts (VAE).

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