Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 620974, 8 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Preclinical Assays to Investigate an Anthroposophic Pharmaceutical Process Applied to Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) Extracts

1Hiscia Institute, Society for Cancer Research, Kirschweg 9, 4144 Arlesheim, Switzerland
2Institute of Integrative Medicine, Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus, University of Witten-Herdecke, Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4, 58313 Herdecke, Germany
3Institute of Complementary Medicine, Inselspital, University of Bern, Imhoof-Pavillon, 3010 Bern, Switzerland

Received 17 September 2013; Accepted 11 March 2014; Published 4 May 2014

Academic Editor: Steven Rosenzweig

Copyright © 2014 Stephan Baumgartner 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.


Extracts from European mistletoe (Viscum album L.) developed in anthroposophic medicine are based on specific pharmaceutical procedures to enhance remedy efficacy. One such anthroposophic pharmaceutical process was evaluated regarding effects on cancer cell toxicity in vitro and on colchicine tumor formation in Lepidium sativum. Anthroposophically processed Viscum album extract (APVAE) was produced by mixing winter and summer mistletoe extracts in the edge of a high-speed rotating disk and was compared with manually mixed Viscum album extract (VAE). The antiproliferative effect of VAE/APVAE was determined in five cell lines (NCI-H460, DU-145, HCC1143, MV3, and PA-TU-8902) by WST-1 assay in vitro; no difference was found between VAE and APVAE in any cell line tested ( ). Incidence of colchicine tumor formation was assessed by measurement of the root/shoot-ratio of seedlings of Lepidium sativum treated with colchicine as well as VAE, APVAE, or water. Colchicine tumor formation decreased after application of VAE (−5.4% compared to water, ) and was even stronger by APVAE (−8.8% compared to water, ). The high-speed mistletoe extract mixing process investigated thus did not influence toxicity against cancer cells but seemed to sustain morphostasis and to enhance resistance against external noxious influences leading to phenomenological malformations.