Schizophyllan (Sizofiran), a polysaccharide extract from Schizophyllum commune, is licensed in Japan for the treatment of cervical cancer and, in a 5-year multi-centre study, has been shown to significantly extend time to recurrence and improve survival rates in patients with stage II cervical cancer but not in those with stage III cancer1,2. A polysaccharide extract of Agaricus subrufescens was shown to enhance NK cell activity in patients with gynaecological cancers (cervical, uterine and endometrial) undergoing chemotherapy (either carboplatin plus etoposide or carboplatin plus taxol) and reduce side effects from the chemotherapy (appetite suppression, alopecia, emotional stability and general weakness)3.
Fve, a protein from Flammulina velutipes, enhanced immune response to vaccination against HPV in an animal model and, in early stage cervical dysplasia (LSIL), Trametes versicolor mycelial biomass (3g/day) significantly increased the percentage of women showing normal cytology after 1 year (72.5% compared to 47.5% in the control group) and increased clearance of associated high risk HPV strains (91.5% vs. 8.5%)4,5.
1. Clinical evaluation of schizophyllan combined with irradiation in patients with cervical cancer. A randomized controlled study. Okamura K, Suzuki M, Yajima A, Chihara T, Fujiwara A, Fukuda T, Goto S, Ichinohe K, Jimi S, Kasamatsu T, Kawai N, Mizuguchi K, Mori S, Nakano H, Noda K, Sekiba K, Suzuki K, Suzuki T, Takahashi K, Takeuchi K, Takeuchi S, Ogawa N. Cancer. 1986;58(4):865–872.
2. Clinical evaluation of sizofiran combined with irradiation in patients with cervical cancer. A randomized controlled study; a five-year survival rate. Okamura K, Suzuki M, Chihara T, Fujiwara A, Fukuda T, Goto S, Ichinohe K, Jimi S, Kasamatsu T, Kawai N, Mizuguchi K, Mori T, Nakano H, Noda K, Sekiba K, Suzuki K, Suzuki T, Takahashi K, Takeuchi K, Takeuchi S, Yajima A, Ogawa N. Biotherapy. 1989;1(1–2):103–107.
3. Natural killer cell activity and quality of life were improved by consumption of a mushroom extract, Agaricus blazei Murill Kyowa, in gynecological cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Ahn WS, Kim DJ, Chae GT, Lee JM, Bae SM, Sin JI, Kim YW, Namkoong SE, Lee IP. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2004;14(4):589–594.
4. Coadministration of the fungal immunomodulatory protein FIP-Fve and a tumour-associated antigen enhanced antitumour immunity. Ding Y, Seow SV, Huang CH, Liew LM, Lim YC, Kuo IC, Chua KY. Immunology. 2009;128(1 Suppl):e881–894.
5. Coriolus versicolor supplementation in HPV patients. [Poster]. Couto JS, da Silva DP. 20th European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2008.