Patterns of cytokines and lymphocyte subsets in patients with breast and prostate cancer treated with a standardized mistletoe extract preparation
© BioMed Central Ltd 2001
Received: 10 May 2001
Published: 31 May 2001
In an open, multicentre clinical trial (GCP), 136 patients with cancer were included to develop a quality of life instrument. After completion of primary cancer therapy, patients received subcutaneous injections of a standardized mistletoe extract preparation corresponding to a dose of approximately 5 ng mistletoe lectin twice weekly for 3 months. In 19 patients with breast or prostate cancer, immunological parameters were determined at baseline, and after 6 and 12 weeks of treatment. FACS analysis revealed a slight increase in T lymphocytes (CD3+, P = 0,13) and B lymphocytes (CD19+, P = 0.01) during treatment. The ability of patient blood cells to release cytokines was tested by measuring cytokine concentrations in the supernatants of cell cultures stimulated with two different mitogens (PHA or PWM). A mean increase was seen for IL-2, IL-10 and TNF-α (P < 0.05, PHA method after 12 weeks of treatment). For IL-1-α, IL-6, IFN-γ and IL-12 no clear effects were observed. However, the PHA and PWM methods produced different results for some cytokines.
Mild immunomodulatory effects were observed in patients with breast and prostate cancer during treatment with a mistletoe extract preparation standardized to mistletoe lectin (Lektinol®). Changes in the different cytokines and lymphocyte subsets remained within the physiological range.