Background: This review aims to highlight biotechnological techniques applied for the identification, isolation and propagation of mistletoe derived bioactive compounds and the preclinical evaluation of their anticancer properties.
Method: We undertook a structure search of bibliographic databases to identify and evaluate the literature, regarding biotechnology of mistletoe and malignancy treatment. The selected articles were classified in five modules according to the study design.
Results: Firstly, we have mentioned the role of biotechnology in plant derived pharmaceutics, by reviewing eight articles. Then, V.album L. botany and a retrospection of the plant pharmaceutical applications are presented from a basis of six articles. Subsequently, mistletoe derived compounds and their anticancer properties are highlighted, throughout fifty four articles, emphasized to the mechanisms of antitumor action. The next module is referred to the biosynthesis of mistletoes bioactive compounds, covering nine cases of ‘in vitro’ propagation and genetic manipulation. Finally, fourteen assays regarding mistletoe preparations and preclinical testing for chemosensitivity are presented.
Conclusion: Biotechnology provides essential tools for the identification, production and evaluation of anticancer compounds derived from Viscum album L. The preclinical studies indicates the potential use of V.album preparations in chemotherapy but further researching is essential for standardizing the therapeutic benefits of mistletoe compounds on malignant treatment.