Non-profit Believe Big funded research shows mistletoe treatment safe and improves quality of life for cancer patients.
Hunt Valley, Maryland — February 23, 2023 — The first mistletoe therapy clinical trial in the United States utilizing intravenous Mistletoe has been completed by oncologists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Spearheaded by Believe Big, a non-profit cancer assistance organization founded by cancer survivor and mistletoe advocate Ivelisse Page, the Phase I trial began in 2015 with the goal of evaluating the safety of Mistletoe use for cancer patients and determining the recommended dosing for Phase II.
In the trial, Helixor M Mistletoe was administered intravenously three times a week to 21 participants. The results indicate improvement in quality of life.
Trial results were published in February 2023 by the American Association for Cancer Research.
Mistletoe Prescribed Widely in Europe
Mistletoe, one of the most widely studied CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) therapies for cancer treatment, has been in common use in Europe for over a century, using extracts of the mistletoe plant. According to the National Cancer Institute, preparations made from European mistletoe (Viscum album) are among the most prescribed drugs offered to cancer patients in some European countries. However, its use has not been widely explored in the United States, where almost 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
Although Mistletoe is listed as an FDA approved substance in the homeopathic pharmacopeia and can be prescribed off label, oncologists cannot offer this treatment as standard of care in America until all phases of the trial are completed.
Currently, only the European species of the mistletoe plant is used for cancer treatment. Mistletoe is one of the most prescribed complementary and/or alternative cancer treatments in Europe. Research in Germany finds it can reduce side-effects and toxicity during chemotherapy and radiotherapy, boost immune response, reduce pain, and increase survival times when used with orthodox medicine. Physicians in Europe are known to administer Mistletoe for treatment in malignant and non-malignant tumors to stimulate bone marrow activity alongside conventional treatments and to offset the side effects of chemotherapy/radiation such as nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. It can also be used to diminish tumor-related pain and to reduce the risk of tumor recurrence.
Since 1975, Helixor has been one of the leading international pharmaceutical companies in the field of integrative oncology and a respected manufacturer of various Mistletoe products used intravenously as well as for self-injections.
A Cancer Survivor’s Mistletoe Story
“We are at a monumental time in history that will be forever marked by the teamwork and belief by the team at Johns Hopkins, Believe Big supporters and the hand of God,” said Ivelisse Page, founder of Believe Big and a stage IV colon cancer survivor of 14 years. “I know how well mistletoe worked for me and my hope is that is becomes available to all patients.”
Page developed colon cancer at age 37, facing the same cancer that took her father’s life, her grandmother’s life, and half of her siblings. Discovering that the survivorship of stage IV colon cancer with metastasis to the liver was less than 8 percent, she made the decision to forgo chemotherapy and radiation, as it would not have increased her chances of survival. Instead, she pursued an integrative approach. After two surgeries, Page was monitored by her oncologist with scans and blood work and began her complementary treatments prescribed by her integrative physician which included mistletoe injections, a plant-based diet, homeopathy, cancer fighting supplements and more. She beat the 8 percent survival rate and has been cancer free since December 2008.
Additional Funding Needed for Phase II
Now that the maximum tolerated dose has been determined and its safety verified, it is possible to begin Phase II clinical trials, pending additional funding.
The road to a clinical trial is long, often arduous, and quite expensive. Traditionally in the United States, large pharmaceutical companies will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to begin the process and see a new drug through to a conclusion. Ivelisse Page and her Believe Big organization raised over $400,000 to kickstart this Mistletoe trial. Work has already begun to raise the funds needed for Phase II.
“This is an exciting development in the world of cancer treatment,” offers Page. “The more tools available in the medical arsenal, the more options the patient has. We are immensely grateful to the incredible staff at Johns Hopkins who have devoted their time and talents to this effort. Our gratitude also goes to Helixor for making their Mistletoe products available for this study.”
About Believe Big
Established in 2011, Believe Big is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit founded by Ivelisse and Jimmy Page after her battle with Stage IV colon cancer. Believe Big serves those with cancer in the United States and beyond. Believe Big offers a wide array of support mechanisms for cancer patients, ranging from nutrition therapy to Mistletoe education and patient advocacy. The organization helps cancer patients move through the overwhelming process of treatment by bridging the gap between conventional and complementary medicine to heal in all aspects of life: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
To learn more, visit www.BelieveBig.org
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Davis