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Immunotherapy

Treatment of cancer with mushroom products.

The author describes a study which shows that natural killer cells can double in number with 8 wk of treatment with Coriolus versicolor. Also described is an epidemiological survey of cancer deaths among Flammulina velutipes farmers in Japan, which found that the mushroom farmers had lower rates of cancer deaths than controls who were not involved in mushroom farming?.[…]

[Restoration of depressed immune responses by PSK in C3H/He mice bearing the syngeneic X5563 tumor]

PSK is a protein-bound polysaccharide prepared from cultured mycelium of Coriolus versicolor. The effects of PSK on immunologic responsiveness were investigated in C3H/He mice bearing syngeneic X5563 tumor. The results were as follows. elayed foot pad reaction and antibody-forming capacity to sheep erythrocytes were depressed in tumor bearing mice, and such depression was prevented by oral or intraperitoneal administration of PSK. In vitro cytotoxic activity of splenic lymphocytes against the tumor was augmented by PSK administration. Antitumor effect was augmented by combination of PSK and X-irradiation. Delayed foot pad reaction to sheep erythrocytes was suppressed in normal C3H/He mice given immunosuppressive substance obtained from tumor-bearing mice, and the depressed reaction recovered to the normal level following PSK administration. These results show that PSK is effective in the syngeneic murine tumor system.[…]

Restoration of immune responsiveness by a biological response modifier, PSK, in aged mice bearing syngeneic transplantable tumor.

PSK (Krestin) is a protein-bound polysaccharide isolated from cultured mycelia of Coriolus versicolor in basidiomycetes. PSK is a biological response modifier which possesses unique characteristics. We investigated the effects of PSK on the immune response of aged C57BL/6 mice bearing a syngeneic transplantable tumor adenocarcinoma 755. (a) In C57BL/6 mice, the delayed foot pad reaction against sheep erythrocytes and resistance to syngeneic tumor challenge reached a peak when the mice were at 30 weeks of age, and decreased at 50-60 weeks of age. The serum of normal mice exerts a modifying effect on blastogenesis of lymphocytes to phytohemagglutinin. The positive effect reached a peak at 30 weeks of age, and thereafter declined with age. (b) When adenocarcinoma 755 was inoculated to C57BL/6 mice at 10-, 30- and 60-weeks of age, immune responses were depressed in 10-week-old and 60-week-old mice. PSK prevented such depression. However, in 30-week-old mice, tumor-induced suppression was slight, and administration of PSK to them increased proportion of mice which did not develop a tumor. (c) In 60-week-old tumor-bearing mice, the antitumor effects was increased with a combination of PSK and adoptive transfer of spleen cells from 10-week-old normal mice. The immune responses of mice, which change with the progress of age, are depressed by tumor burden. The administration of PSK to aged mice is effective to restore immune responses from tumor-induced suppression.[…]

Immunomodulatory and antitumor activities of a polysaccharide-peptide complex from a mycelial culture of Tricholoma sp., a local edible mushroom.

A polysaccharide-peptide complex (PSPC) with immunomodulatory and antitumor activities was obtained from a submerged mycelial culture of Tricholoma sp., a local edible mushroom. The polysaccharide-peptide complex exhibited a molecular weight of 17 K in gel filtration and a single band after SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. It was characterized by non-adsorption on both DEAE-Sepharose CL-6B and CM-cellulose. It could activate the macrophages, stimulate the proliferation of T-cells, and inhibit the growth of sarcoma 180 in mice. It possessed more potent immunomodulatory and antitumor activities than Coriolus versicolor polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and deserves to be studied as a potential agent for immunomodulation and cancer therapy.[…]

Effects of Coriolus versicolor polysaccharides peptides on electric activity of mediobasal hypothalamus and on immune function in rats.

MBH is involved in the immune-potentiating effect of PSP.[…]

Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes.

In the last three decades, numerous polysaccharides and polysaccharide-protein complexes have been isolated from mushrooms and used as a source of therapeutic agents. The most promising biopharmacological activities of these biopolymers are their immunomodulation and anti-cancer effects. They are mainly present as glucans with different types of glycosidic linkages such as (1–>3), (1–>6)-beta-glucans and (1–>3)-alpha-glucans, and as true herteroglycans, while others mostly bind to protein residues as polysaccharide-protein complexes. Three antitumor mushroom polysaccharides, i.e. lentinan, schizophyllan and protein-bound polysaccharide (PSK, Krestin), isolated respectively, from Lentinus edodes, Schizophyllum commune and Coriolus versicolor, have become large market items in Japan. Lentinan and schizophyllan are pure beta-glucans, whereas PSK is a protein-bound beta-glucan. A polysaccharide peptide (PSP), isolated from a strain of Coriolus versicolor in China, has also been widely used as an anti-cancer and immunomodulatory agent. Although the mechansim of their antitumor action is still not completely clear, these polysaccharides and polysaccharide-protein complexes are suggested to enhance cell-mediated immune responses in vivo and in vitro and act as biological response modifiers. Potentiation of the host defense system may result in the activation of many kinds of immune cells that are vitally important for the maintenance of homeostasis. Polysaccharides or polysaccharide-protein complexes are considered as multi-cytokine inducers that are able to induce gene expression of vaious immunomodulatory cytokines and cytokine receptors. Some interesting studies focus on investigation of the relationship between their structure and antitumor activity, elucidation of their antitumor mechanism at the molecular level, and improvement of their various biological activities by chemical modifications.[…]

Dr. Mark Flannery Joins inLife LLC’s Board as Medical Advisor

inLife, LLC today announced Dr. Mark Flannery joins inLife’s Board as Medical Advisor. Dr. Flannery joins inLife to bring awareness and enlightenment to the public of inLife’s new immunological nutritional supplement, inForce Immune Builder.[…]

Coriolus versicolor: a medicinal mushroom with promising immunotherapeutic values.

Coriolus versicolor (CV) is a medicinal mushroom widely prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of cancer and infection in China. In recent years, it has been extensively demonstrated both preclinically and clinically that aqueous extracts obtained from CV display a wide array of biological activities, including stimulatory effects on different immune cells and inhibition of cancer growth. The growing popularity of aqueous CV extracts as an adjunct medical modality to conventional cancer therapies has generated substantial commercial interest in developing these extracts into consistent and efficacious oral proprietary products. While very limited information is available on the physical, chemical, and pharmacodynamic properties of the active principles present in these extracts, there has been sufficient scientific evidence to support the feasibility of developing at least some of these constituents into an evidence-based immunodulatory agent. In this article, the background, traditional usage, pharmacological activities, clinical effects, adverse reactions, active constituents, and regulatory aspects of CV are reviewed. Presented also in this review are the current uses and administration, potential drug interactions, and contraindication of aqueous extracts prepared from CV.[…]

Treatment of cancer with mushroom products.

Cancer has been attributed to 3 causes: pollution, infection, and poor nutrition. Conventional treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. The author proposes that immunotherapy also be considered. Among other environmental influences, dietary deficiencies and carcinogenic viral infections must be investigated and treated wherever possible. It has been suggested that mushrooms, in particular, have a structure that is immunomodulatory because it resembles the proteoglycan structure in the human extracellular matrix, and both are metabolically active. Inasmuch as mitochondria have a bacterial origin, proteoglycans may have a mushroom origin. The author describes a study which shows that natural killer cells can double in number with 8 wk of treatment with Coriolus versicolor. Also described is an epidemiological survey of cancer deaths among Flammulina velutipes farmers in Japan, which found that the mushroom farmers had lower rates of cancer deaths than controls who were not involved in mushroom farming.[…]

Differential effect of Coriolus versicolor (Yunzhi) extract on cytokine production by murine lymphocytes in vitro.

Being one of the commonly used Chinese medicinal herbs, Coriolus versicolor (CV), also named as Yunzhi, was known to possess both anti-tumor and immunopotentiating activities. The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro immunomodulatory effect of a standardized ethanol-water extract prepared from CV on the proliferation of murine splenic lymphocytes using the MTT assay, and the production of six T helper (Th)-related cytokines using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. The results showed that the CV extract significantly augmented the proliferation of murine splenic lymphocytes in a time- and dose-dependent manner, maximally by 2.4-fold. Moreover, the production of two Th1-related cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-12, in culture supernatants from the CV extract-activated lymphocytes was prominently upregulated at 48 and 72 h. Positive correlations were found between the levels of these two cytokines and the MTT-based proliferative response. In contrast, the production of two other Th1-related cytokines, including interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-18, was significantly augmented only at 24 h, but not at 48 and 72 h. On the other hand, the levels of two Th2-related cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-6 were undetectable in the culture supernatants of lymphocytes treated with the CV extract. The CV extract was suggested to be a lymphocyte mitogen by differentially enhancing the production of Th1-related cytokines.[…]