Saturday, April 30, 2011

California's NMD Stengler Wrongly Claims Mistletoe is a "Proven" Treatment for Cancer and Other Illnesses

here, I quote from a recent blog post by NMD Stengler promoting mistletoe extract as quite-the-panacea [001., below]; then, from an NIH evaluation of the herbal extract he's promoting [see 002., below]; finally, I contextualize naturopathy by way of NMD Stengler's alma mater, NCNM [see 003., below]:

001. Stengler, M. (NMD NCNM) states in "Proven Natural Treatment For Cancer" (2011-04-29)[saved 2011-04-30 from his blog; this was also emailed to me directly by NMD Stengler]:

"there is a proven natural treatment to recommend to the approximately 12 million people in the US who currently have cancer.  I’m talking about an extract made from European mistletoe [...] it is widely used in Europe [...and] has been used in medicine for centuries.  It had [sp., has] multidimensional uses, including treat­ing headache, menstrual symptoms, infertility and arthritis [...] one of the most studied formulations is Iscador [...and] mistletoe extract [ME] is most often used in conjunction with standard cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and/or radiation. It has been found to increase the ef­fectiveness of, and reduce the side effects from, conventional therapies and to improve patients’ immunity and quality of life, including vitality, sleep and appetite.  I regularly prescribe mistletoe extract to my patients to help those with cancer battle the disease and as a post cancer treatment [...] in this country, injectable mistletoe is available as a prescriptionAny licensed primary care doctor can order and prescribe it.  It costs about $200 a month and is not covered by insurance."

Note: so, we have a ringing endorsement of what appears to be quite-the-panacea.  The claim is that ME is casually prescribed, has efficacy and therefore warrants its cost, and implied is that its benefit is worth its risk.

002. the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health states in "Mistletoe Extracts":

"mistletoe is a semiparasitic plant [...and] is one of the most widely studied complementary and alternative medicine therapies in people with cancer [...it] has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory [in vitro] and to affect the immune system [in vivo]. However, there is no evidence that mistletoe's effects on the immune system help the body fight cancer [...] extracts are usually given by injection under the skin or, less often, into a vein, into the pleural cavity, or into the tumor [...] animal studies have suggested that mistletoe may be useful in decreasing the side effects of standard anticancer therapy, such as chemotherapy and radiation [...] more than 30 human studies using mistletoe to treat cancer have been done since the early 1960s, but major weaknesses in many of these have raised doubts about their findings [...] very few harmful side effects have been reported from the use of mistletoe extract [...] the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved mistletoe as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition [...] the FDA does not allow injectable mistletoe to be imported, sold, or used except for clinical research."

Note: when is what has been widely studied as ineffective as a cancer therapy "proven" as a cancer therapy?  Naturopathyland, of course.  When is crap research not even in human subjects inappropriately extended?  Ditto.   When are unapproved treatments that politely could be called worthless and experimental used casually / day-to-day without likely full / accurate disclosure of context?  You got it.  So, if the form of mistletoe that is being given by NMD Stengler is parenteral [not oral], something seriously wrong is being done, in my opinion -- if the patient is not consenting to 'an approved strange human experimentation with a rather controlled unpromising compound conforming to all human-rights accords for such a context'. I don't see anything in NMD Stenger's post about the context of his ME treatments being "clinical research."  So, I don't think it is accurate for NMD Stengler to say "any licensed primary care doctor can order and prescribe it."  If the mistletoe is being given orally, well from what I understand, then none of these supposedly supporting preliminary studies either in vitro or parenterally in vivo matter because very few complex organic compounds survive the gut to be absorbed, and then can survive the liver's screening of absorbed complex compounds etc.  How does "proven" occur from a collective consensus of "no evidence"?  Well, lets look to Oregon's NCNM, the alma mater of NMD Stengler, and OBNM the overseeing naturopathy board for that state.

003. we're told:


"naturopathic medicine is a science-based, vitalistic philosophy and practice rooted in the principle of vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature [HPN-VMN...] students pursue a vitalistically grounded and rigorous academic clinical program."

Note: so the essential basis of naturopathy is science-ejected nonsense.

003.b. by the State of Oregon in "Naturopathy":

"the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing [...] based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis. It is these principles that distinguish the profession from other medical approaches [...#1] the healing power of nature / vis medicatrix naturae [...] the healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force [...] illness is a purposeful process of the organism.  The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself."

Note: so, what is claimed is that nonsensical vitalism / HPN-VMN survives scientific scrutiny / is science-based.  In fact it does not / is not.  Nonsense is not sense. Vitalism is science-ejected, and has been for like a century.  That's the INSANITY of naturopathy.  So, how is NMD Stengler able to reverse the position of mistletoe in regards to a false label of "proven" cancer therapy?  The same way naturopathy reverses the position of the nonscientific and the scientific: simply state that whatever-is-wanted-to-be-science is within science, no matter.  And, of course, this is labeled by naturopathy as professional.

004. what I've asked NMD Stengler at his blog:

"The National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health states in Mistletoe Extracts 'the FDA does not allow injectable mistletoe to be imported, sold, or used except for clinical research.'  And you above state: 'I regularly prescribe mistletoe extract to my patients—to help those with cancer battle the disease and as a post cancer treatment [...] in this country, injectable mistletoe is available as a prescription.  Any licensed primary care doctor can or­der and prescribe it.  It costs about $200 a month and is not covered by insurance.'

Is your use of mistletoe of a early-research context, a human-experimentation context, or of a well-established therapeutic context?

Thanks, -r.c."

Note: no response so far.
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