1437P - Health service research in integrative oncology: viscum album use and non-pharmacotherapeutic interventions in lung cancer patients

Date 01 October 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Poster presentation III
Topics Supportive Measures
Presenter Friedemann Schad
Authors F. Schad1, J. Axtner2, A. Happe3, T. Breitkreuz4, J. Gutsch5, B. Matthes6, G. Spahn7, C. Grah8, M. Kroez3, H. Matthes9
  • 1Gastroenterlogie-visceralzentrum, Research Institute Havelhoehe (FIH), 14089 - Berlin/DE
  • 2Network Oncology-fih, Research Institute Havelhoehe (FIH), 14089 - Berlin/DE
  • 3Network Oncology, Research Institute Havelhoehe (FIH), 14089 - Berlin/DE
  • 4Innere Medizin / Onkologie, Paracelsus-Hospital, 75378 - Bad Liebenzell/DE
  • 5-, Outpatient oncologist, 58285 - Gevelsberg/DE
  • 6Medical Care Center Havelhoehe, Outpatient oncologist, 14089 - Berlin/DE
  • 7Center For Integrative Medicine And Cancer Therapies, Hospital Oeschelbronn, 75223 - Niefern-Oeschelbronn/DE
  • 8Pneumology, Hospital Havelhoehe, 14089 - Berlin/DE
  • 9Internal Medicine, Hospital Havelhoehe, 14089 - Berlin/DE



Viscum album extracts (VA) and non-pharmacotherapeutic interventions (NPI) are frequently used in integrative oncology (IO). NPIs activate patients' resources whereas VA enhances health-related quality of life and reduce adverse effects caused by conventional therapies. In the present study we evaluated the use of VA and NPIs in lung cancer patients from a clinical registry with a special emphasis on IO.


We analyzed data of 1177 lung cancer patients collected by the Network Oncology, a conjoint clinical registry of German hospitals and out-patient oncologists. We used non-parametric ?2 or Fisher exact test (F) to compare observed frequencies, Wilcoxon rank sum (W), Kruskal-Wallis test (KW) for differences between groups. We fitted a logistic regression model to explain use of VA.


73% of the patients got VA and 54% NPI [embrocations, wrappings, eurythmic therapy, massages, music, drawing, modeling, psychological support or hyperthermal therapy]. No difference in UICC stage between VA patients and others were seen (p?2= 0.213), but VA patients choose more NPI (medother= 0, medVA= 2, pW< 0.001). Women got VA more often (pF< 0.001) and chose in median more NPI (♂ = 0, ♀ = 2, pW< 0.001). Median length of VA application was 115.1 weeks. Median time between first diagnosis and start of VA was 3.94 months and was shorter for more advanced cancer (pKW< 0.001). Surgery was negatively (�sur= -1.93, psur< 0.001), chemotherapy positively associated with getting VA (�che= 0.96, pche= 0.001; pNPI< 0.001). Median time between first diagnosis and admission did not differ between UICC stages (?2= 2.61, df= 3, pKW= 0.455), but its variance decreased with diagnosis severity (?2= 41.60, df= 3, pFK< 0.001). Conventional therapies showed lower frequencies after than prior admission to NO facilities (che/ sur/ rad; prior: 49%/ 39%/ 39%, post: 38%/ 24%/ 22%; all p< 0.001).


Results show that VA and NPI are part of standard care of lung cancer patients in IO settings. Female patients are more open-minded to IO therapies and use them more often. Our results suggest that health service research data provide a solid basis for generating hypothesis to conduct warranted prospective studies on effectiveness in IO.


H. Matthes: PD Dr. med. Harald Matthes is member of the board of directors of the Weleda Weleda A.G. Arlesheim/ Switzerland.

All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.