Kambô-Induced Systemic Inflammatory Response: A Case Report of Acute Disease Progression of Cholangiocarcinoma

Shira Peleg Hasson*, Eliya Shachar, Rivka Kessner, Shulim Shpigel, Ido Wolf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kambô is a cleansing ritual involving the application of a toxin produced by the giant leaf frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor). The Kambô ritual has increasingly been adopted among cancer patients in Europe. Accumulating data indicate various adverse effects. We report another severe adverse reaction to Kambô, a systemic inflammatory response syndrome mimicking disease progression in a patient with cholangiocarcinoma. We describe a systemic reaction to Kambô, manifested as tachycardia, tachypnea, impaired liver cholestatic enzymes, and enlargement of lymphadenopathy mimicking disease progression. The clinical features and onset of symptoms, the rapid reaction, and the lack of other identified causes make the diagnosis of Kambô-induced SIRS highly probable. This case report calls for future studies examining standard oncological care such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy in conjunction with alternative therapy. Additionally, greater awareness and physician education should be promoted, encouraging inquiry of oncology patients’ administration of alternative, complementary, and integrative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIntegrative Cancer Therapies
StatePublished - 2021


  • SIRS
  • cholangiocarcinoma
  • integrative medicine
  • kambu
  • physician’s education


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