Association for Clinical Research

Supporting organisation
Society for Clinical Research (non-profit organisation)

In around 1985, several doctors practising anthroposophical medicine had some positive results with the mistletoe preparation Iscador® in the treatment of the immunodeficiency disease AIDS. At the same time, it was becoming increasingly clear that controlled clinical studies conducted according to the guidelines of conventional medicine could crucially improve the acceptance of this medication for other indications – especially in oncology – among classically educated and university physicians, at regulatory agencies and by health insurers.
The preparation Iscador® produced from Viscum album, the white-berried mistletoe, was developed by Ita Wegman, MD, (1876 – 1943) in collaboration with the chemist Adolf Hauser, PhD, Zurich, as a consequence of the work of Rudolf Steiner, PhD (1861-1925), like many other anthroposophic preparations, and had been introduced to medicine by around 1920. Although it has been developed further over the years, optimised and used therapeutically with success, there were only few results from studies based on “good clinical practice” alongside with a great deal of pre-clinical data from so-called “test tube experiments” from the end of the 20th century.
For this reason, on 10 May 1994, the non-profit organisation ‘Society of Oncological and Immunological Research’ was founded, which has been trading as ‘Society for Clinical Research’ since 26 May 2003. In order to realise the objectives of the organisation, the Institute for Clinical Research was established – at the time under the name ‘Institute for Oncological and Immunological Research’. In July 1994, the Institute began its work in the Moabit Hospital in Berlin, initially with four employees.
The founders of the supporting organisation and the Institute wanted to meet the challenge of contributing to the bridge building between complementary and classically scientific medicine, through the initiation, co-ordination and assessment of strictly controlled and internationally accepted clinical studies,. Moreover, the objective was to expand the repertoire of clinical research with innovative study designs which are better able to reflect the special character of complementary medical methods.
In September 1997, the Institute moved to Berlin-Charlottenburg in Hardenbergstrasse 19, close to the station Zoologischer Garten. From here, the IKF Berlin operates successfully, studies are planned, co-ordinated and analysed, and the study centres at universities and other clinics in Germany and abroad (currently Italy, Great Britain, Russia and Switzerland) are supported.
Soon after the Institute began its work, a second focus of research was formed: clinical studies with Cannabis sativa, the old herbal remedy hemp. The objective is to demonstrate that well-founded clinical research can contribute to gaining a plant for modern medication manufacture which is still mainly considered to be a drug.
The work of the currently ten permanent employees and a number of freelancers and PhD students is currently focused on the following:
  1. Clinical research with the mistletoe preparation Iscador ®for cancer and pre-cancerous illnesses, geriatric illnesses and other areas
  2. Clinical research with Cannabis sativa (hemp) for advanced cancer, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and other indications
  3. Promoting scientific exchange in the above areas
Please read about the basic principle of our work – research according to the Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice Forschung nach dem Grundsatz der "Guten Klinischen Praxis" – in the following document.

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