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Anticancer Drugs. 1997 Apr; 8 Suppl 1(): S27-31.

Viscum album L. preparation Isorel modifies the immune response in normal and in tumour-bearing mice.

Jurin M, Zarkovic N, Borovic S, Kissel D.

Department of Experimental Biology and Medicine, Ruder Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia.

The Viscum album (mistletoe) preparation Isorel is able to destroy tumour cells and to modify immune reactivity against a particular antigen in normal and in tumour-bearing animals. CBA/HZgr mice and methylcholanthrene-induced fibrosarcoma were used in these studies. A single dose of Isorel M (140 mg/kg or 1400 mg/kg body weight) significantly increased the number of plaque forming cells if applied at the time of injection of sheep red blood cells or 1 day earlier. The application of Isorel 1 day after sheep red blood cells did not modify the number of plaque forming cells in comparison to the controls. The higher the dose of Isorel the stronger is the immune response to sheep red blood cells. Furthermore, one dose of Isorel (140 mg/kg body weight) restored the suppressed immune response of fibrosarcoma-bearing mice to a significant extent. Besides modification of the humoral immune response, the survival time of C57BI/GoZgr male skin grafts on syngeneic female recipients was significantly shorter if Isorel was applied at a particular time after grafting. However, according to plaque forming cell numbers, a prolonged application of Isorel was significantly immunosuppressive in normal mice and particularly in tumour-bearing mice. It should be mentioned that the doses of Isorel used in this experiment were much higher than generally used in cancer patients. In view of the immunomodulating effects of Isorel, the monitoring of the immune response of the patients treated with mistletoe preparations is to be recommended.

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