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How did the mistletoe symposia come about and what are their aims?

The first mistletoe symposium was organised in Saarland in 1995 together with Prof. Dr. Hans Becker, Chair of Pharmaceutical Biology at Saarland University and Prof. Dr. Peter A. Berg, Medical Clinic at Tübingen University. From the beginning, the Karl and Veronica Carstens Foundation has accompanied and financially supported this project.

The aim was and is to build bridges

  • between pharmacy and medicine - therefore the symposium is thematically very broad,
  • between the special therapeutic directions, anthroposophical medicine, phytotherapy and homeopathy, in which mistletoe preparations are used,
  • between basic research and application, i.e. research for patients,
  • between conventional medicine and complementary medicine, entirely in the sense of integrative oncology. This objective is particularly important, but difficult and has not yet been achieved. A first step to arouse interest among clinical oncologists for the symposia are the clinical focus topics introduced since the 5th Mistletoe Symposium (2011).

Since the beginning, the symposium has been placed on a scientific basis. This is the reason for the large collegium and for the participation of numerous scientific medical and pharmaceutical societies. From the very beginning, the mistletoe symposia have been accredited or certified by the Chamber of Pharmacists and the Saarland Medical Association.

The mistletoe symposium is a place of encounter, discussion, scientific exchange, discourse for domestic and foreign scientists, doctors, pharmacists, representatives of the authorities. No conference fees will be charged.

As a symposium naturally has limited space, the contributions will be published promptly, first the abstracts in a scientific journal, then, about 1 year later, in detailed form in a book published by KVC-Verlag. The abstracts are freely available on the homepage of the respective scientific journal - but only for a limited time.


What has the symposium been able to achieve so far?

The symposium itself can establish connections between the participants, give rise to new ideas, to cooperation, which lead to new ways in therapy, and thus ultimately benefit the patient.

During these 25 years of the mistletoe symposium, many things have been set in motion and also brought to a conclusion, for example:

  • the structural elucidation of mistletoe constituents,
  • the expansion of immunological knowledge or other preclinical findings,
  • clinical studies that have shown the efficacy and tolerability of mistletoe preparations,
  • integration of physicians' experiential knowledge, which has led to new directions and confidence in mistletoe therapy,
  • discussions with and contributions from representatives of the authorities, which have contributed to fact-oriented decisions and points of view.

All this can be read in the seven books on the previous symposia, some of which are still available from the KVC publishing house.

There were also "political statements" on the part of the mistletoe symposium. In two so-called Nonnweiler Declarations (2003 and 2011), the participants gathered at the symposium made demands regarding the retention of the reimbursability of mistletoe preparations by the statutory health insurance (SHI).


The next symposium is the 9th Mistletoe Symposium. What topics can participants expect?

The next symposium is the 9th Mistletoe Symposium.
It is scheduled to take place in 2027. Further details will be announced on this website in good time.

It is scheduled to take place in 2027. Further details will be announced on this website in good time.