Category Archives: Diseases

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – A Teaching Hospital of Harvard Medical School

Currently, extracts of Coriolus versicolor called polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharopeptide (PSP) are under study as immune stimulants for use alongside chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer. These two related substances, made from slightly different strains of the fungus, are thought to act as “biological response modifiers,” meaning that they affect the body’s response to cancer.

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Clinical Trial China phase 3

Based on the PSP´s significant findings in the investigated cancers of the Phase II trial, permission was granted by the Chinese Administration of Health Bureau to carry out a multi-center Phase III clinical trial. Fourteen hospitals including the eight who participated in the phase II trial conducted this randomized study from April 1996 to September 1997.

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Clinical trial China phase 2

Polysaccharide-peptide (PSP) is a protein bound polysaccharide isolated from the COV-1 strain of Yunzhi (Coriolous versicolor mushroom) and made from modern alcohol extraction techniques. Each capsule contains 0.34 grams of PSP. Experimental in-vitro and in-vivo studies have shown PSP inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells including P338 leukemia cells, S 180 cells, Ehrlich ascites, and stomach and lung cancer cells. It also inhibits the growth of some tumors such as the lymphatic tumor of human skin tissue cells. In addition, PSP affects the immune system of mice by stimulating the production of ?\interferons, increasing the phagocytic index and metabolic rate of the reticuloendothilial system and by raising the HC 50 (median hemolytic dose), IgG and PFC (plaque forming cell) values. Human in-vivo experiments have also shown PSP can modulate the immune system by helping to prevent and partly eliminate the side effects of radiation and chemotherapeutic agents used by cancer patients.

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Clinical trail China phase 1

Polysaccharide-peptide (PSP) is a protein bound polysaccharides isolated from the COV-1 strain of Yunzhi (Coriolous versicolor mushroom) and made from modern alcohol extraction techniques. Each capsule contains 0.34 grams of PSP. Experimental in-vitro and in-vivo studies have shown PSP inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells including P338 leukemia cells, S 180 cells, Ehrlich ascites, and stomach and lung cancer cells. It also inhibits the growth of some tumors such as the lymphatic tumor of human skin tissue cells. In addition, PSP affects the immune system of mice by stimulating the production of ?\interferons, increasing the phagocytic index and metabolic rate of the reticuloendothilial system and by raising the HC 50 (median hemolytic dose), IgG and PFC (plaque forming cell) values. Human in-vivo experiments have also shown PSP can modulate the immune system by helping to prevent and partly eliminate the side effects of radiation and chemotherapeutic agents used by cancer patients.

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Bioactive Polysaccharides from TCM Herbs as Anti-Cancer Adjuvants

Many fungal and plant derived bio active polysaccharides with a broad range of immunomodulatory activities are found in TCM. Some
such polysaccharides have been developed into drugs and showed clinical efficacy in controlled trials while the majority of such compounds remain as nutraceuticals with only preliminary research. Such polysaccharides are generally non-toxic and also possess other bio activities such as inducing differentiation, stimulating hematopoiesis, anti-metastasis, and antiangiogenesis, which make them ideal adjuvants in modern cancer therapy.

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American Cancer Society

Coriolus versicolor is a mushroom used in traditional Asian herbal remedies (see Chinese Herbal Medicine). Two substances extracted from
the mushroom, polysaccharides K (PSK) and polysaccharides-peptide (PSP), are being studied as possible complementary cancer treatments.
Versicolor polysaccharides (VPS), another extract from the mushroom that is sold as a dietary supplement in the United States, is also being studied. A polysaccharide is a carbohydrate formed by a large number of sugar molecules.

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Anticancer effects and mechanisms of polysaccharide?K (PSK): implications of cancer immunotherapy.

Abstract
Polysaccharide-K (polysaccharide-Kureha; PSK), also known as krestin, is a unique protein-bound polysaccharide, which has been used as a chemoimmunotherapy agent in the treatment of cancer in Asia for over 30 years. PSK and Polysaccharopeptide (PSP) are both protein-bound polysaccharides which are derived from the CM-101 and COV-1 strains of the fungus Coriolus versicolor by Japanese and Chinese researchers, respectively. Both polysaccharide preparations have documented anticancer activity in vitro, in vivo and in human clinical trials, though PSK has been researched longer and has therefore undergone more thorough laboratory, animal and clinical testing. Several randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that PSK has great potential as an adjuvant cancer therapy agent, with positive results seen in the adjuvant
treatment of gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers. These studies have suggested the efficacy of PSK as an immunotherapy or biological response modifier (BRM). BRMs potentially have the ability to improve the “host versus tumor response,” thereby increasing the ability of the host to defend itself from tumor progression. The mechanisms of biological response modification by PSK have yet to be clearly and completely elucidated. Some studies suggest that PSK may act to increase leukocyte activation and response through up-regulation of key cytokines. Indeed, natural killer (NK) and lymphocyte-activated killer (LAK) cell activation has been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro, and recent genetic studies reveal increased expression of key immune cytokines in response to treatment with PSK. An antimetastatic action of PSK has also been demonstrated and is perhaps attributed to its potential to inhibit metalloproteinases and other enzymes involved in metastatic activity. PSK has also been shown to cause differentiation of leukemic cells in vitro, and this effect has been attributed to induction of differentiation cytokines. PSK has further been shown to have antioxidant capacity which may allow it to play a role as a normal tissue chemo- and radio-protector when used in combination with adjuvant or definitive chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer, while it may also enable it to defend the host from oxidative stress. Interestingly, studies have also shown that PSK may actually inhibit carcinogenesis by inhibiting the action of various carcinogens on vulnerable cell lines. This action of PSK may play a role in preventing second primary tumors when an inducing agent, such as tobacco or asbestos, is suspected and may also prevent second malignancies due to the carcinogenic effects of radiotherapy and cytotoxic chemotherapy. Another very important aspect of chemoimmunotherapy, in general is that it may be used on debilitated patients such as those with AIDS and the elderly who might otherwise be denied potentially helpful adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy. Further determination of the mechanisms of these anti-cancer, immunostimulating and biological response modifying effects of PSK as well as of other protein-bound polysaccharides is certainly warranted. Indeed, with modern cellular and molecular biology techniques, a better understanding of the specific molecular effects of PSK on tumor cells as well as leukocytes may be determined. Much of the research that has been done on PSK is outlined in this paper and may serve as a foundation toward determining the mechanisms of action of this and other protein-bound polysaccharides in the treatment of cancer. This information may open new doors in the development of novel strategies for the treatment of malignancies using adjuvant immunotherapy in combination with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

PMID: 12168863 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed
U.S. National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances
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Effect of Krestin as adjuvant treatment following radical radiotherapy in non?small cell lung cancer patients.

Hayakawa K, Mitsuhashi N, Saito Y, Nakayama Y, Furuta M, Nakamoto S, Kawashima M, Niibe H.
Department of Radiology and Radiation Oncology, Gunma University School of Medicine, Japan.

Abstract
To evaluate the efficacy of Krestin (PSK) as adjuvant treatment after radical radiation therapy (RT) for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), treatment results of 225 patients with NSCLC treated with RT followed by adjuvant administration of PSK between 1976 and 1989 were analyzed. Of these patients, 170 (76%) had squamous cell carcinoma. In the patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, PSK was given only when the tumor showed satisfactory shrinkage (complete or partial response) after completion of RT. The treatment outcomes were compared with those of the responders to RT not receiving PSK. The 5-year survival rates of patients with stages I-II and stage III disease were 39 and 26%, respectively, while the non-administered responder group’s were 17 and 8%. These differences are statistically significant. An improvement in the treatment results with combined use of appropriate immuno-modulating drugs is anticipated in the future. When clinical trials of the efficacy of these drugs are conducted, the agents should be given to the patients with satisfactory tumor regression after RT, although they still take much time and cost.

PMID: 9043766 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed
U.S. National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances

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Antimetastatic Effects of PSK (Krestin), a Protein-bound Polysaccharide Obtained from Basidiomycetes: An Overview

PSK is currently used as an immuno therapeutic agent for gastric colorectal, and lung cancers in Japan. It has virtually no adverse effects, and it can be administered P. over a long term. Consequently, its use need not be limited to the treatment of Cancer, and, as our previous paper suggested, it should in the future prove valuable as a general chemopreventive agent and, as this review shows, as anti metastatic agent. The principal mechanisms of PSK may act as an inhibitor of the motility, invasion, and progression of tumor cells,  in addition to its role as an immunomodulator.

Antimetastatic Effects of PSK (Krestin), a Protein-bound Polysaccharide Obtained from Basidiomycetes: An Overview….. View more here:

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Coriolus versicolor extracts: relevance in cancer management

M. Szeto BSc RD

Cancer patients are increasingly seeking options in complementary and alternative medicine. Natural health products have by far become the most popular modality. Mainstream health care professionals need to engage in an open dialogue with their patients as cancer care becomes more multifaceted.

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