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Clinical Experience in the Use of PSP

Data on Krestin suggest that this family of drugs when used in combination with radiotherapy, there might be an increase of the biological effects of radiation. To do a pilot study on such a possibility, the authors have treated 41 moderate to advanced cases of esophageal carcinoma with a combination of PSP and radiotherapy.[…]

Cell growth and gene modulatory activities of Yunzhi (Windsor Wunxi) from mushroom Trametes versicolor in androgen-dependent and androgen-insensitive human prostate cancer cells. TC Hsieh, JM Wu. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA. The incidence

The incidence of prostate cancer varies greatly throughout the world; it is highest in African-Americans and lowest in the Asian populations of China, India, and Japan. Geographical differences in both prevalence of latent prostate cancer and mortality have been postulated to be influenced by diverse tumor-promoting and protective factors, both environmental and dietary. Prostate cancer is a tumor with an extremely long latency; the pattern of prostate tumorigenesis, in terms of the display and sequence of appearance of particular molecular or biochemical features, or morphological changes, characterizing different stages of the carcinogenic process, is expected to be heterogeneous. Some insights into tumor heterogeneity and progression can be obtained from studies using cell lines, particularly those derived from different anatomical sites. The present study aims to investigate whether hormone-responsive LNCaP and androgen-refractory JCA-1, PC-3, and DU-145 prostate cancer cells are responsive to Yunzhi (YZ), a proprietary dietary supplement prepared from extracts of Trametes versicolor, also known as Coriolus versicolor (a mushroom consumed by Chinese for its purported health benefits), and to elucidate its mechanism of action. Ethanolic extracts (70%) of YZ significantly reduced LNCaP cell growth, down-regulated the levels of secreted PSA, but had less effects on the expression of intracellular PSA and did not affect levels of the androgen receptor. In androgen-unresponsive prostate cancer cells, YZ had a much less pronounced suppressive effect on proliferation of PC-3 and DU-145 cells, compared to LNCaP, and was inactive against JCA-1 cells. Western blot analyses show that the expression of Rb, a key regulatory protein in G1/S transition, and PCNA, integrally involved in mammalian cell DNA replication, were significantly reduced by treatment with YZ in PC-3 and DU-145 cells, respectively. In contradiction, none of these biochemical parameters were affected in JCA-1 cells under identical treatment conditions. Further analysis shows that YZ increased the levels of signal transducer and activator family of transcription factors STAT 1 and STAT 3 in JCA-1 and not LNCaP cells. The greater sensitivity of LNCaP cells to this polysaccharopeptide raises the possibility that YZ may be considered as an adjuvant therapy in the treatment of hormone responsive prostate cancer; additionally, it may have chemopreventive potential to restrict prostate tumorigenic progression from the hormone-dependent to the hormone-refractory state.[…]

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

PSP treatment appears to be associated with slower deterioration in patients with advanced NSCLC.[…]

Immunomodulatory activities of Yunzhi and Danshen in post-treatment breast cancer patients.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Discomfort and fatigue are usually arisen from anticancer therapy such as surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or combination therapy, because of the suppressed immunological functions. Yunzhi (Coriolus versicolor) can modulate various immunological functions in vitro, in vivo, and in human clinical trials. Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) has been shown to benefit the circulatory system by its vasodilating and anti-dementia activity. The purpose of this clinical trial was to evaluate the immunomodulatory effects of Yunzhi-Danshen capsules in post-treatment breast cancer patients. Eighty-two patients with breast cancer were recruited to take Yunzhi [50 mg/kg body weight, 100% polysaccharopeptide (PSP)] and Danshen (20 mg/kg body weight) capsules every day for a total of 6 months. EDTA blood samples were collected every 2 months for the investigation of immunological functions. Flow cytometry was used to assess the percentages and absolute counts of human lymphocyte subsets in whole blood. Plasma level of soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results showed that the absolute counts of T-helper lymphocytes (CD4+), the ratio of T-helper (CD4+)/T suppressor and cytotoxic lymphocytes (CD8+), and the percentage and the absolute counts of B-lymphocytes were significantly elevated in patients with breast cancer after taking Yunzhi-Danshen capsules, while plasma slL-2R concentration was significantly decreased (all p < 0.05). Therefore, the regular oral consumption of Yunzhi-Danshen capsules could be beneficial for promoting immunological function in post-treatment of breast cancer patients.[…]

Molecular characterization of Coriolus versicolor PSP-induced apoptosis in human promyelotic leukemic HL-60 cells using cDNA microarray.

The present study provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in PSP-induced apoptosis in leukemic HL-60 cells analyzed by cDNA microarray.[…]

Induction of S phase cell arrest and caspase activation by polysaccharide peptide isolated from Coriolus versicolor enhanced the cell cycle dependent activity and apoptotic cell death of doxorubicin and etoposide, but not cytarabine in HL-60 cells.

Activation of the cell death program (apoptosis) is a strategy for the treatment of human cancer, and unfortunately a large number of drugs identified as cell cycle-specific agents for killing cancer cells are also toxic to normal cells. The present study demonstrates that the polysaccharide peptide (PSP) extracted from the Chinese medicinal mushroom, Coriolus versicolor, used in combination therapy in China, has the ability to lower the cytotoxicity of certain anti-leukemic drugs via their interaction with cell cycle-dependent and apoptotic pathways. Flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that pre-treatment of PSP (25-100 microg/ml) dose-dependently enhanced the cell cycle perturbation and apoptotic activity of doxorubicin (Doxo) and etoposide (VP-16), but not cytarabine (Ara-C) in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. The antagonistic result from combined treatment with Ara-C and PSP may be caused by the removal of HL-60 cells in the G1-S boundary by PSP before exposure to Ara-C. A negative correlation between the increase in apoptotic cell population (pre-G1 peak) with the S-phase cell population expression (R2=0.998), the expression of cyclin E expression (R2=0.872) and caspase 3 activity (R2=0.997) suggests that PSP enhanced the apoptotic machinery of Doxo and VP-16 in a cell cycle-dependent manner and is mediated, at least in part, by the PSP-mediated modulation of the regulatory checkpoint cyclin E and caspase 3. This study is the first to describe the cell cycle mechanistic action of PSP and its interaction with other anticancer agents. Our data support the potential development of PSP as an adjuvant for leukemia treatment, but also imply the importance of understanding its interaction with individual anticancer agents.[…]

The cell death process of the anticancer agent polysaccharide-peptide (PSP) in human promyelocytic leukemic HL-60 cells.

The polysaccharide peptide (PSP) isolated from the mycelia of Chinese Medicinal fungus Coriolus versicolor has proven benefits in clinical trials in China but the mechanism of action has not been elucidated. In this study, HL-60 cell line was used to investigate the anti-proliferation and cell death process of PSP. The cytotoxicity of PSP on normal human T-lymphocytes was also evaluated. We show that PSP induced apoptosis of human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells but not of normal human T-lymphocytes. The apoptotic machinery induced by PSP was associated with a decrease in Bcl-2/Bax ratio, drop in mitochondrial transmembrane potential, cytochrome c release, and activation of caspase-3, -8 and -9. Activation of the cellular apoptotic program is a current strategy for the treatment of human cancer, and the selectivity of PSP to induce apoptosis in cancerous and not on normal cells supports its development as a novel anticancer agent.[…]

Differential anti-tumor activity of coriolus versicolor (Yunzhi) extract through p53- and/or Bcl-2-dependent apoptotic pathway in human breast cancer cells.

Coriolus versicolor (CV), also called Yunzhi, has been demonstrated to exert anti-tumor effects on various types of cancer cells, but the underlying mechanism has not been fully elucidated. The present study aimed to evaluate the in vitro anti-tumor activity of a standardized aqueous ethanol extract prepared from CV on four breast cancer cell lines using MTT assay, and test whether the mechanism involves apoptosis induction and modulation of p53 and Bcl-2 protein expressions using cell death detection ELISA, p53 and Bcl-2 ELISAs respectively. Our results demonstrated that the CV extract dose-dependently suppressed the proliferation of three breast tumor cell lines, with ascending order of IC50 values: T-47D, MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, while BT-20 cells were not significantly affected. Tumoricidal activity of the CV extract was found to be comparable to a chemotherapeutic anti-cancer drug, mitomycin C. Nucleosome productions in apoptotic MDA-MB-231, MCF-7 and T-47D cells were significantly augmented in a time-dependent manner and paralleled the anti-proliferative activity of CV extract. Expression of p53 protein was significantly upregulated only in T-47D cells treated with the CV extract in a dose- and time-dependent fashion, but not in MCF-7 (except at 400 mug/ml after 16 h) and MDA-MB-231 cells. The CV extract significantly induced a dose-dependent downregulation of Bcl-2 protein expression in MCF-7 and T-47D cells, but not in MDA-MB-231 cells. These results suggested that apoptosis induction, differentially dependent of p53 and Bcl-2 expressions, might be the possible mechanism of CV extract-mediated cytotoxicity in human breast cancer cells in vitro.[…]

Lack of prevention of large intestinal cancer by VPS, an extract of Coriolus versicolor mushroom.

Cancer prevention studies were conducted with VPS, a hot water extract of the Coriolus versicolor (CV) mushroom, in female Swiss mice. The extract was administered in the diet for life to the animals. Three groups of mice received the following treatments: a). 1,2-dimethylhydrazine dihydrochloride (1,2-DMH) was administered as 10 weekly subcutaneous injections of 20 microg/g body weight, starting at 9 weeks of age; b). VPS was given at a 2% dose level starting at 7 weeks of age followed by 1,2-DMH, as described in group a; c). 1,2-DMH was administered as described in group a followed by VPS at a 2% dose level starting at 21 weeks of age. The number of animals with large intestinal tumors and the total number of these tumors were: a). 30,321; b). 29,359; and c). 28,415. These differences are not statistically significant. Because extracts of the CV mushroom are used by cancer patients as nutritional supplements in the U.S., and particularly in the Orient, the present negative result should caution its users.[…]

Comparsion of Anti-cancer Effect between two kinds of Polysaccharide Peptide of Coriolus versicolor on Human Tumor Cell Lines in Vitro

PSK as a new immunomodulative drug had been widely used for clinical anticancer therapy in Japan. When combined with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgical operation, PSK is found to be able to improve the therapeutic effects. In 1983, a polysaccharide peptide of Coriolus versicolor Cov-1 was isolated from the mycelia by Qing-yao Yang. It is possessed of physio-chemical characteristics similar to PSK and designated as PSP. In the present study the anti-cancer effect of PSP was compared with PSK using four human tumor cell line targets in vitro.[…]