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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 785479, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/785479
Review Article

Preclinical and Clinical Effects of Mistletoe against Breast Cancer

1IJN-UTM Cardiovascular Engineering Center, Faculty of Biosciences and Medical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
2Bioprocess Engineering Department, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia

Received 18 March 2014; Revised 6 June 2014; Accepted 18 June 2014; Published 20 July 2014

Academic Editor: Michel Mittelbronn

Copyright © 2014 Mohsen Marvibaigi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Breast cancer is among the most frequent types of cancer in women worldwide. Current conventional treatment options are accompanied by side effects. Mistletoe is amongst the important herbal medicines traditionally used as complementary remedies. An increasing number of studies have reported anticancer activity of mistletoe extracts on breast cancer cells and animal models. Some recent evidence suggests that cytotoxic activity of mistletoe may be mediated through different mechanisms. These findings provide a good base for clinical trials. Various studies on mistletoe therapy for breast cancer patients revealed similar findings concerning possible benefits on survival time, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), remission rate, and alleviating adverse reactions to conventional therapy. This review provides an overview of the recent findings on preclinical experiments and clinical trials of mistletoe for its cytotoxic and antitumor activity and its effect on HRQoL in breast cancer patients. Moreover, studies investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying antitumor activity of mistletoe are discussed in this paper. The analyzed trials provided evidence that there might be a combination of pharmacological and motivational aspects mediated by the mistletoe extract application which may contribute to the clinical benefit and positive outcome such as improved HRQoL and self-regulation in breast cancer patients.