Skin Cancer (Melanoma)

In one in vivo study, injection of Maitake D-fraction produced 27% inhibition of a melanoma cell line in mice at a dose of 1mg/kg1, while in others an ethanol extract of Ophiocordyceps sinensis was effective at inhibiting growth of melanoma in the lungs of mice2,3 and PSK at suppressing lung metastases of mouse melanoma4.

Extracts of Inonotus obliquus and Lentinula edodes have also shown in vitro activity against melanoma cells lines5,6, while triterpenes from Poria cocos have demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity and inhibition of the development of skin cancer in a mouse model7,8.


1. Maitake D-fraction. Apoptosis inducer and immune enhancer. Konno S. Altern Complement Ther. 2001;7(2):102–107.

2. Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on natural killer activity and colony formation of B16 melanoma. Xu RH, Peng XE, Chen GZ, Chen GL. Chin Med J (Engl). 1992;105(2):97–101.

3. Inhibitory effects of ethyl acetate extract of Cordyceps sinensis mycelium on various cancer cells in culture and B16 melanoma in C57BL/6 mice. Wu JY, Zhang QX, Leung PH. Phytomedicine. 2007;14(1):43–49.

4. Antimetastatic effect of PSK, a protein-bound polysaccharide, against the B16-BL6 mouse melanoma. Matsunaga K, Ohhara M, Oguchi Y, Iijima H, Kobayashi H. Invasion Metastasis. 1996;16(1):27–38.

5. Selective induction of apoptosis in murine skin carcinoma cells (CH72) by an ethanol extract of Lentinula edodes. Gu Y.H, Belury M.A. Cancer Lett. 2005;220(1):21–28.

6. Potential anticancer properties of the water extract of Inonotus obliquus by induction of apoptosis in melanoma B16-F10 cells. Youn MJ, Kim JK, Park SY, Kim Y, Park C, Kim ES, Park KI, So HS, Park R. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;121(2):221–228.

7. Inhibitory effects of lanostane-type triterpene acids, the components of Poria cocos, on tumour promotion by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol- 13-acetate in two-stage carcinogenesis in mouse skin. Kaminaga T, Yasukawa K, Kanno H, Tai T, Nunoura Y, Takido M. Oncology. 1996;53(5):382–385.

8. Triterpene acids from Poria cocos and their anti-tumour-promoting effects. Akihisa T, Nakamura Y, Tokuda H, Uchiyama E, Suzuki T, Kimura Y, Uchikura K, Nishino H. J Nat Prod. 2007;70(6):948–953.