Coriolus versicolor polysaccharide peptide slows progression of advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

KW Tsang, CL Lam, C Yan, JC Mak, GC Ooi, JC HO, B Lam, R Man, JS Sham, WK Lam.

Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China. kwttsang@hku.hk

BACKGROUND: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a leading cause of cancer deaths, and over 60% of patients present with advanced stages. Although polysaccharide peptides (PSP), isolated from the fungus Coriolus versicolor, have been reported to have anti-tumor effects, its clinical efficacy has not been properly evaluated. METHODS: Double-blind placebo-controlled randomized study to evaluate the effects of 28-day administration of PSP (Windsor Pharmaceutical, Hong Kong) on patients, who had completed conventional treatment for advanced NSCLC. RESULTS: Thirty-four patients, with no significant difference in their baseline demographic, clinical or tumor characteristics, or previous treatment regimes (P>0.05) were recruited into each of the PSP and control arms. After 28-day treatment, there was a significant improvement in blood leukocyte and neutrophil counts, serum IgG and IgM, and percent of body fat among the PSP, but not the control, patients (P<0.05). Although the evaluable PSP patients did not improve in NSCLC-related symptoms, there were significantly less PSP patients withdrawn due to disease progression, than their control counterparts (5.9 and 23.5%, respectively; P=0.04; OR 4.00). There was no reported adverse reaction attributable to the trial medications. CONCLUSION: PSP treatment appears to be associated with slower deterioration in patients with advanced NSCLC.

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