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Mistletoe and the Emerging Future of Integrative Oncology

May 2023
More details
  • Publisher
    Portal Books
  • Published
    9th May 2023
  • ISBN 9781938685354
  • Language English
  • Pages 384 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
November 2021
More details
  • Publisher
    Portal Books
  • Published
    9th November 2021
  • ISBN 9781938685330
  • Language English
  • Pages 384 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

Human disease is an elaborate dance between behavior, our environment, and chance. Medicine tries to tame human disease with science, but when our knowledge falls short, disease wins. This is too often the case with cancer. We spend billions of dollars each year trying to better understand it and develop tools to ease its effects.

Today, many allopathic medical practitioners are beginning to seek out a greater connection with holistic and integrative approaches. The authors of this book introduce one specific therapy and make a case for integrative health in general, including anthroposophically extended medicine, naturopathy, and other holistic approaches.

Mistletoe therapy has long been considered a viable treatment for cancer by the European medical community and is beginning to gain recognition in North America, as well. The mistletoe plant possesses many remarkable properties. As a therapy, it represents a rediscovery of ancient wisdom and shows us how the science of modern medicine might expand its reach and reconnect with a more human-centered medicine.

The book was structured following the syllabus for a three-day practitioner training hosted by the Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine (PAAM). The chapters highlight several of our key lectures in a condensed form. The book serves as an introductory summary of—not a replacement for—those intensive professional trainings.

This book is constructed as a journey and is meant to be read in its entirety, whether by a patient, a practitioner, a supporter of integrative oncology, or anyone who takes a deep interest in one’s own health concerns. The text is accessible, and the reader does not need a science background to understand the majority of the content.

While this book should not be considered a treatment or diagnostic manual, it is intended to both prepare practitioners to begin mistletoe therapy training and to make this information available in an accessible form to anyone interested in learning about this approach to treating cancer.

Illustrated in color and b/w

“I cannot imagine a better introduction to mistletoe than the current volume. It is fascinating, clearly organized, and well written...a real page-turner for anyone interested in the tortuous journey of this widely misunderstood form of complementary treatment. Visitors to Germany are often amazed to discover the respect that physicians and patients have for a botanical treatment almost unknown in America—that is, mistletoe therapy and the broader category of anthroposophic medicine. Mistletoe has been approved for cancer in Germany since the 1960s. Even the U.S. National Cancer Institute states that mistletoe extracts are among the most widely prescribed drugs for cancer patients in Europe. Yet, in the U.S. mistletoe is either unknown or carelessly maligned. This situation is now changing because of a clinical trial at the renowned Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. This fact alone is causing greater awareness of mistletoe therapy and may help usher in a bright future for cancer patients seeking a more holistic form of treatment.”

“In this pioneering book, doctors and patients will discover the incredible power of mistletoe therapy and its foundational place within integrative cancer care. As this book demonstrates, plant-based supplements that stimulate the immune system's own power—such as mistletoe—are a welcome addition to current cancer treatments and may eventually become first-line treatments (with fewer side effects).”

— Kelly A. Turner, PhD, NY Times bestselling author of Radical Hope

“Mistletoe was a cornerstone of my integrative oncology practice for over 35 years. This exciting collaboration by leading integrative physicians is not only a comprehensive deep-dive into the science and practice of mistletoe therapies, it provides a context in holistic cancer care.  Nutrition, spirituality, metabolic therapies, naturopathy, and other natural medicines are given voice as the new paradigm of integrative medicine.”

— Neil McKinney, ND, author, Naturopathic Oncology: An Encyclopedic Guide for Patients and Physicians

“Although future cancer therapies may involve the cutting-edge science such as gene therapy it may also be that ancient wisdom will be just as important. Mistletoe has been used in tradition healing therapies for centuries, if not thousands of years and may prove to be one of our greatest tools in the treatment of cancer.”

— Robb Wolf, New York Times/WSJ bestselling author, The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat, co-host The Healthy Rebellion Radio

“This new resource is an excellent and needed addition to the world of naturopathic and integrative oncology. Using Mistletoe as a therapy is something my colleagues and I have done for many years, and like all therapies there are so many subtleties to the art of its use. This book will take the practitioner from not only a safe and entry level position using mistletoe therapies but also elevate their technical and clinical competence. All the chapters are amazing, and ones such as chapter 5, ‘Test, Assess, Address...Don’t Guess! Adjusting Treatment Priorities in Response to the Patient’s Unique Terrain’ gets to the heart of elevating patient outcomes. This is an invaluable resource!”

— Dr. Paul S. Anderson, coauthor, Outside the Box Cancer Therapies; author, Cancer: The Journey from Diagnosis to Empowerment

“What a treasure this book is—for patients and practitioners alike. It’s time to shed the war metaphor and acknowledge that comprehensive healing must incorporate spirit, soul, and body. These authors provide an expansive and inclusive view of how we can approach and accomplish healing the whole person. As more of us embrace and practice the approaches introduced in this book, we will truly have actual healthcare rather than disease management.”

— Jan Adrian, MSW, founder and director of Healing Journeys

“This book is authored by some of the leading integrative oncologists who are on the cutting edge with their innovative approaches to treating one of the leading causes of death in the 21st century, cancer. If you or someone you love has cancer, this is a must have resource to learn about a non-toxic century old herb that has great promise in the comprehensive treatment program management of most cancers.”

— Dr. Mercola, Founder, most visited natural health website for the last two decades

“More than an introduction to mistletoe therapy, this book is packed with information about this ancient yet “new” therapeutic option. Written for both the layman and the medically trained, the history and science of mistletoe along with relevant research are all reviewed. As a practicing Hyperbaric Medicine physician who regularly walks in the unconventional space, I found this information fascinating and completed my reading ready to charge forward. The authors will surely inspire those in both the functional medicine and allopathic community to incorporate the use of mistletoe as part of an integrative approach to the cancer patient. They have effectively helped to bridge the gap. The door has been opened!”

— Alan A Katz, MD, FUHM, FACEP, FAAEM, National Medical Director of Hyperbaric Medical Solutions

“This book provides a progressive and interesting look at alternatives to traditional cancer therapies, focused on provision of natural remedies as a component of integrative cancer care, especially utilizing Viscum Album Extract (VAE).

“It begins with an important review of the history of cancer research, which provides the framework for modern day holistic approaches, especially regarding cancer cell metabolism and immunotherapy. Dr Johnson and Winters have assembled an outstanding group of authors with an in-depth knowledge of both the mechanisms of action, and clinical application, of anthroposophic medicine. All cancer care providers, including allopathic physicians, can benefit from reading this book and adopting adjuvant practices to augment traditional cancer therapies.

“The conclusions are provocative, calling for a more detailed look at more effective means to induce the immune response in cancer patients; and to tailor the type of host inflammation from a chronic low-grade smoldering condition, into a more robust acute and episodic response, which can perturb metastatic sites and cause regression of primary lesions. The appendices provide practical algorithms and treatment schedules. Please expand your thinking about the etiology and management of cancer by reading this book.”

— Jeffrey A Jones, MD, FACS, FACPM, FAsMA, OCL, Deputy Executive for Inpatient Services, Chief of Urology- OCL/MEDVAMC, Professor Baylor College of Medicine, Scott Dept of Urology/ Center for Space Medicine, Jamail-Abramson Chair in Urology Research

Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson served as Co-Chief Resident of Internal Medicine at the University of Massachusetts affiliated hospitals in Worcester (1996). He directed one of the first inpatient integrative medicine clinics in the US and now directs the first European Mistletoe/Integrative Medicine Training Program in North America. Dr. Johnson has written numerous articles and lectured internationally. He is currently the president of the Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine (PAAM) and founder of the Foundation for Health Creation. Currently Dr. Johnson works part time in private practice at Collaborative Medical Arts in upstate New York and also practices with adults with special needs at Camphill Village in Copake, New York. Dr. Johnson is an avid student of medicinal botany, and serves as a consultant for integrative and anthroposophic pharmacy.

Nasha Winters

Nasha Winters, ND, FABNO (Fellow of the American Board of Natu-ropathic Oncology) is a global healthcare authority and best-selling author in integrative cancer care and research ( Con-sulting with physicians around the world, she has educated hundreds of professionals in the clinical use of mistletoe. She has created robust educational programs for both healthcare institutions and the public to incorporate well-vetted integrative therapies into cancer care to enhance outcomes. Dr. Winters is currently focused on opening a com-prehensive metabolic oncology hospital and research institute (Meta-bolic Terrain Institute of Health) in the U.S., which will provide the best that standard of care has to offer alongside the most advanced integrative therapies. This facility will be in a residential setting on a gorgeous campus, against a backdrop of regenerative farming, EMF mitigation, and wellness-oriented retreat space.

Adam Blanning

Adam Blanning, MD, practices anthroposophic family medicine at the Denver Center for Anthroposophic Therapies ( in Denver, Colorado. He is president of the Anthroposophic Health Association (AHA), an umbrella organization for groups working to bring anthroposophic insights into the realms of medicine, nursing, naturopathy, body therapies, artistic therapies, movement therapies, and counseling. Dr. Blanning lectures and teaches nationally and internationally on topics related to holistic medicine and the dynamics of human development. He is the author of Understanding Deeper Developmental Needs: Holistic Approaches for Challenging Behaviors in Children (2017).

Marion Debus

Marion Debus, MD, received her medical training at Ruhr-University Bochum (1989–1995). Her professional training in internal medicine includes her years at Klinik Öschelbronn Germany, Princess of Wales Hospital Bridgend GB, and Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Havelhöhe in Berlin, Germany. Between 2002 and 2005, Marion further specialized in hematology and oncology at Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus in Stuttgart. From 2005 to 2017, she was senior physician at the anthroposophic community hospital Havelhöhe Berlin with a large oncological outpatient clinic. She is currently Head of the Department of Oncology, Hematology, and Internal Medicine at Klinik Arlesheim ( near Basel, Switzerland.

Paul Faust

Paul Faust, ND, FABNO (Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology) is the Founder and Naturopathic Medical Director of the Chesapeake Natural Health Center (, established in 2001. He became the first Naturopathic Doctor licensed by Maryland’s Board of Physicians in 2016 and has been retained by them as an Expert Witness for cases involving Naturopathic Medicine within the state. He also serves on the board of the Naturopathic Formulary Council. In 2020, he was selected to receive Maryland’s first Naturopathic Doctor of the Year Award. Previously he has served on the editorial review board for the Alternative Medicine Review, a leading publication for complementary and alternative medicine.

Mark Hancock

Mark Hancock, MD, MPH founded Humanizing Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, together with his wife Enid, in 2015. The clinic is strongly rooted in the couple’s belief that everyone should have quality integrative healthcare options. For his entire professional career, Dr. Hancock has worked with Anthroposophic Medicine, which originally introduced mistletoe as a cancer care therapy over one hundred years ago. Dr Hancock graduated summa cum laude from Saint George’s Medical School in 2008 and was elected Chief Resident during his training at University of New Mexico Hospital. He was introduced to the advanced use of mistletoe by Dr. Maurice Orange, greatly impacting his life course. Dr. Hancock’s journey through life has been full and varied and has taken him through art, philosophy, science, and even some farm work, before ultimately landing in medicine. Read about his journey and medical philosophy at

Peter Hinderberger

Peter Hinderberger, MD was born and raised in Switzerland, where he also attended medical school. In 1978, he completed part of his internship at the Lukas Klinik in Arlesheim, Switzerland (now the oncology department of the Klinik Arlesheim), an integrative oncology clinic. In 1982, he spent another six months at that clinic to deepen his knowledge and practical experience in the use of subcutaneous and intravenous mistletoe. In the spring of 1984, Dr. Hinderberger opened his general practice at the Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center in Baltimore. He now practices at the Raphael Clinic of Maryland ( in Towson, Maryland. Integrative oncology has always been a focus of his research and practice.