Medicinal mushrooms and cancer – a scientific review

From time immemorial, mushrooms have been valued by humankind as a culinary wonder and folk medicine in Oriental practice. The last decade has witnessed the overwhelming interest of western research fraternity in pharmaceutical potential of mushrooms. The chief medicinal uses of mushrooms discovered so far are as anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, hypocholesterolemic, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, anti-allergic, nephroprotective, and anti-microbial agents. The mushrooms credited with success against cancer belong to the genus Phellinus, Pleurotus, Agaricus, Ganoderma, Clitocybe, Antrodia, Trametes, Cordyceps, Xerocomus, Calvatia, Schizophyllum, Flammulina, Suillus, Inonotus, Inocybe, Funlia, Lactarius, Albatrellus, Russula, and Fomes. The anti-cancer compounds play crucial role as reactive oxygen species inducer, mitotic kinase inhibitor, anti-mitotic, angiogenesis inhibitor, topoisomerase inhibitor, leading to apoptosis, and eventually checking cancer proliferation. The present review updates the recent findings on the pharmacologically active compounds, their anti-tumor potential, and underlying mechanism of biological action in order to raise awareness for further investigations to develop cancer therapeutics from mushrooms. The mounting evidences from various research groups across the globe, regarding anti-tumor application of mushroom extracts unarguably make it a fast-track research area worth mass attention.

Read the whole raport: Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review

Medicinal mushrooms vs. cancer – clinical trials

This review discusses the immunological roles of 5 major mushrooms in oncology: Agaricus blazei, Cordyceps sinensis, Grifola frondosa, Ganoderma lucidum, and Trametes versicolor. These mushrooms were selected based on the body of research performed on mushroom immunology in an oncology model. First, this article focuses on how mushrooms modify cytokines within specific cancer models and on how those cytokines affect the disease process. Second, this article examines the direct effect of mushrooms on cancer. Finally, this article presents an analysis of how mushrooms interact with chemotherapeutic agents, including their effects on its efficacy and on the myelosuppression that results from it. For these 5 mushrooms, an abundance of in vitro evidence exists that elucidates the anticancer immunological mechanisms. Preliminary research in humans is also available and is promising for treatment.

Summary of potential clinical applications of medicinal mushrooms:

Type of Cancer Indicated Mushroom
Nonsmall-cell lung cancer Cordyceps
Lung cancer Reishi (ganorderma lucidum)
Gastric cancer PSK (turkey tail/coriolus versicolor)
Hepatocellular carcinoma Agaricus, reishi (ganoderma lucidum)
Leukemia Agaricus, reishi (ganoderma lucidum)
Lymphoma Cordyceps
Breast cancer Reishi, maitake, turkey tail (Coriolus versicolor)
Colon cancer Maitake, reishi, turkey tail (Coriolus versicolor)
Prostate cancer Reishi (ganoderma lucidum)
Sarcoma Reishi (ganoderma lucidum)

PSK = polysaccharide K.
Turkey tail = Coriolus versicolor = Trametes versicolor
Reishi = Ganoderma lucidum

Check the whole review below:

Source: Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology