Complete remission and long-term survival of a patient with melanoma metastases treated with high-dose fever-inducing Viscum album extract: A case report

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Abstract

Introduction:

Metastatic malignant cutaneous melanoma (MCM)—a highly immunogenic cancer—typically has a poor prognosis. Viscum album extracts (VAEs) have strong immune-stimulating, apoptogenic, and cytotoxic effects.

Case presentation:

A 66-year-old MCM patient with newly diagnosed lymph node metastases opted for sole VAE treatment. VAEs were initially applied subcutaneously, and then later in exceptionally high, fever-inducing doses, both intravenously and intralesionally. The metastases shrunk over the following months, and after 2 years, all lesions had completely remitted (regional and hilar lymph nodes). The patient has been tumor free for 3.5 years at the time of publication (and for 5 years since initiation of intensified VAE treatment). Besides fever and flu-like symptoms, no side effects occurred.

Discussion:

We presume that VAE triggered an increased release of tumor-associated antigens, enhanced immunologic recognition, and increased immune response against the tumor tissue and induced tumor remission.

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