Tag Archives: survival rate

Add mushrooms to list of cancer treatment tools – By: Dr. Patrick Massey, M.D., Ph.D., Daily Herald Columnist

(Daily Herald – 9/8/2008) When it comes to cancer treatment, I believe that we have finally reached a point where we need to seriously consider incorporating mushrooms into the overall medical approach.

A review article outlining the importance of one specific mushroom – Coriolus versicolor – in the treatment of several types of cancer was published in the recent issue of the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. The article summarizes more than three decades of solid research that showed patients who consumed Coriolus versicolor or one of its extracts during chemotherapy had better survival rates.

The use of mushrooms as a cancer therapy has been common in Asia for many years. Coriolus versicolor is often recommended because of its potent anticancer properties. This particular mushroom grows on the side of trees in many parts of the world, including the U.S. In China, it is called yun zhi (cloud fungus). In the U.S., it is commonly referred to as turkey tail.

Coriolus versicolor is the source of Krestin, arguably the most commonly used anticancer compound in the world. Krestin was first discovered by a Japanese chemical engineer in 1965 and is approved by the Japanese government as an anticancer therapy.

Standard treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can dramatically reduce the number of cancer cells in a person’s body, but ultimately the immune system is responsible for killing the remaining cancer cells. Mushrooms contain a number of unique long chain sugars called polysaccharides. Polysaccharide recognition is one way that our cells communicate and how natural killer cells differentiate between normal and cancer cells. A number of mushroom polysaccharides, especially from Coriolus versicolor, specifically enhance the activity of natural killer cells.

There is significant research to indicate that extracts from Coriolus versicolor show activity against lung, gastrointestinal and breast cancers, with more than 140 papers published in the medical literature, including 43 human clinical trials.

Although Coriolus versicolor and its extracts appear to be safe, I strongly recommend medical supervision during cancer therapy. In addition, safety in children, pregnant women and those with kidney disease has not been established.

• Dr. Patrick D. Massey, M.D., Ph.D., is medical director for complementary and alternative medicine for Alexian Brothers Hospital Network.

Source: Daily Herald, Chicagohttp://www.dailyherald.com/story/print/?id=232976

Adjuvant PSK immunotherapy in patients with carcinoma of the nasopharynx.

A controlled study using adjuvant PSK immunotherapy in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma was initiated with the aim of improving survival by enhancing the host immune system against tumour cells. A total of 38 patients were randomly selected, all of whom had previously received radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy. Eight patients in the PSK immunotherapy group (n = 21) developed local recurrence, three of whom later died due to distant metastasis. In the control group (n = 17) three patients developed local recurrence while six patients developed distant metastasis. All of these six patients later died due to disease progression. It seems that PSK exerts its antitumour effect systemically; the risk of distant metastasis occurring is decreased, but it is apparently ineffective in improving local disease control. The estimated median survival time of the PSK-treated group compared with the control was significantly increased (35 months versus 25 months, P = 0.043). The 5-year survival rate was also significantly better in the PSK immunotherapy group (28% versus 15%, P = 0.043). It is concluded that PSK deserves careful consideration as an important immunotherapeutic agent in the management of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Adjuvant immunochemotherapy with oral Tegafur/Uracil plus PSK in patients with stage II or III colorectal cancer: a randomised controlled study

Intravenous fluorouracil and leucovorin is the standard adjuvant treatment for stage III colon cancer. However, oral adjuvant chemotherapy is attractive because it has low toxicity and greater convenience. We investigated the benefits of oral protein-bound polysaccharide K (PSK) with tegafur/uracil (UFT) as an adjuvant in stage II and III colorectal cancer. Patients were assigned to groups that received either 3 g PSK plus 300 mg UFT, or 300 mg UFT alone orally each day for a 2-year period following intravenous mitomycin C. Of 207 registered patients, 205 with stage II (n¼123) or III (n¼82) were analysed. The 5-year disease-free survival was 73.0% (95% CI 65.6–80.4%) with PSK (n¼137) and 58.8% (95% CI 47.1–70.5%) in the controls (n¼68) (P¼0.016). POLYSACCHARIDE K reduced the recurrence by 43.6% (95% CI 4.5–66.7%) and mortality by 40.2% (95% CI _12.5 to 68.3%). The 5-year survival was 81.8% (95% CI 75.3–88.2%) in the PSK group and 72.1% (95% CI 61.4–82.7%) in the control group (P¼0.056). In stage III patients, disease-free and overall survivals in patients receiving PSK were increased significantly: 60.0% (95% CI 47.1–72.9%) and 74.6% (95% CI 63.0–86.1%) in the PSK group as compared with 32.1% (95% CI 14.8–49.4%) and 46.4% (95% CI 28.0–64.9%) in the controls (P¼0.002 and 0.003, respectively). Polysaccharide K prevented recurrence, particularly lung metastases (P¼0.02; odds ratio 0.27; 95% CI 0.09–0.77). In the models, the presence of regional metastases (relative risk, 2.973; 95% CI 1.712–5.165; Po0.001), omission of PSK (relative risk, 2.106; 95% CI 1.221–3.633; P¼0.007), and higher primary tumour (relative risk, 4.398; 95% CI 1.017–19.014; P¼0.047) were each significant indicators of recurrence. Adverse effects were mild and compliance was good. Oral PSK with UFT reduced recurrence in stage II and III colorectal cancer, and increased survival in stage III.

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