Maitake Medicinal Mushrooms as Alternative Treatment for Prostate Cancer

A promising study on the combination of Interferons and Maitake Medicinal Mushrooms to combat prostate cancer has led to a possible alternative treatment for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and is the most common cause of death among elderly men. Many factors, including genetics and diet, have been implicated in the development of prostate cancer.

Although several conventional therapies are currently available, alternative approaches must be developed to combat the progression of prostate cancer cells.

A study published by Paul Pyo, Brandon Louie, Srinivas Rajamahanty et al (J Hematol Oncol. 2008) investigated whether the combination of Interferons and an extract of the medicinal mushroom Maitake might prevent the progression of Prostate cancer.

Interferons are proteins made and released by host cells in response to the presence of pathogens such as tumor cells. They allow for communication between cells to trigger the protective defenses of the immune system that eradicate pathogens or tumors. Their antitumor effects have been demonstrated on certain cancers.

Interferons have more moderate side effects compared to chemotherapy.

Maitake medicinal mushrooms  are rich in minerals (such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium), various vitamins (B2, D2 and niacin), fibers and amino acids. One active constituent for enhancing the immune activity was identified in the late 1980s as a protein-bound beta-glucan compound.

Maitake Medicinal Mushrooms contain compounds used as alternative treatment for prostate cancer

In the study, the combination of a specific Interferon (Interferon-α2b) and a bioactive extract of the Maitake medicinal mushroom was explored as an alternative approach for prostate cancer immunotherapy. This combination is hoped to improve anticancer activity.

This extract of the Maitake medicinal mushroom has been a subject of much medical research. For instance, in an animal model the Maitake medicinal mushroom extract activated natural killer cells.

The study concludes that it is conceivable that Maitake medicinal mushroom, as part of a combination therapy with Interferons, could help combat prostate cancer, becoming an alternative treatment for prostate cancer — of at least, an medicinal mushroom enhanced traditional treatment model


Bridget Greenwood


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