Mushroom extract to be tested in integrative cancer treatment role

Research on PSK and PSP with prostate cancer

A new $5.4 million research study focusing on ‘turkey tail mushrooms’ (Trametes versicolor) has recently started. Conducted by Bastyr University, the University of Washington and others, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the clinical trial studies the mushroom extract on prostate patients in conjunction with chemotherapy.

The mushroom contains two powerful polysaccharides - polysaccharide-K (PSK), and polysaccharide-P (PSP).

PSK and PSP are sometimes recommended by Integrative Doctors. 

Previous research shows PSPand PSK effect with breast cancer

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and Bastyr University completed a study in 2010 showing that the mushroom extract could reduce side-effects and boost the immune system in women with various stages of breast cancer. 

PSP has shown more benefit in pain relief and immune system strengthening. Clinical trials have involved cancers of the stomach, oesophagus, lung, cervix and ovaries. In double-blind trials, PSP significantly extended five-year survival in oesophageal cancer. There is some research suggesting PSP can slow the growth of tumors and help protect the immune system, particularly from the effects of cancer treatment.

PSK has been approved in Japan for over 30 years following clinical trials – it is used integratively with chemo, radio and surgery and has been shown to significantly extend survival times in patients with cancers of the stomach, colon/rectum, oesophagus and non-small cell lung cancer.

As with many medicinal mushrooms, both PSK and PSP boosted immune cell production and reduced chemotherapy side effects. The mushroom also seems to have antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Go To: Which mushrooms help fight your cancer?

Nov - Dec 2013 Cancer Watch
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