Viscum album L. extracts (VA) are frequently used in integrative oncology to enhance health-related quality of life. As a central aspect of well-being is associated with feeling warm or cold the internal coherence scale (ICS) questionnaire including the thermo coherence measurement was utilized.
A prospective observational longitudinal cohort study was conducted, using data from the Network Oncology clinical registry. Primary non-metastasized breast cancer patients diagnosed in a German certified breast cancer center and treated either with standard anti-hormonal therapy alone (control) or in combination with VA-extracts (VA-group) were included. At first diagnosis, 6 months and 12 months later, the ICS-questionnaire was administered and analysed.
In total, 72 patients (56 control and 16 VA-patients; median age 62.1 years, IQR: 52.3–70.6) were evaluated. 6 months after first diagnosis, only for the VA-group a considerable increase of the total ICS and particularly the thermo coherence score was observed (p (d) < 0.01). Furthermore, after 12 months in a subgroup of 45 patients, 69% of the VA-group, felt an advancement of warmth, while only 25% of the controls had this feeling. This significant effect remained consistent in a multivariable regression analysis (p = 0.006).
Our findings suggest that concomitant VA is positively associated with an impact on the thermo coherence of breast cancer patients and VA-applications might be an option to harmonize discomfort symptoms during anti-cancer therapy. However, results should be interpreted with caution in light of the study´s observational character.