(Medical News Today – 4/29/2008) The results of a year long clinical trial examining the effects of mushroom supplementation in patients with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) have recently been presented at congress. Dr. Jose Silva Couto and Dr. Daniel Pereira da Silva of the Cervical Pathology Unit of the Portuguese Institute of Oncology in Coimbra, Portugal presented their findings at the 20th European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, in Lisbon Portugal. This study provides a promising set of results and demonstrates proof-of concept for the question as to whether immunonutrition supplements can be successfully used to improve HPV status in patients.
The poster presentation detailed the results of the evaluation of the Efficacy of Coriolus versicolor Supplementation in patients infected with HPV with low-grade squamous intraepthithelial lesions (LSIL). The Coriolus versicolor mushroom supplied for the study was produced by Mycology Research Laboratories Ltd in tablet form (500 mg/tablet).
Dr. Silva Couto et al. found that Coriolus versicolor supplementation over a period of one year substantially increased regression of the dysplasia (LSIL) and induced clearance of the high risk sub-types of the HPV virus responsible for cervical cancer.
a) Coriolus versicolor supplementation demonstrated a 72% regression rate in LSIL lesions compared to 47.5% without supplementation.
b) Coriolus versicolor supplementation demonstrated a 90% regression rate in the high risk HPV virus sub-types compared to 8.5% without supplementation.
The year long study was funded by Mycology Research Laboratories Ltd. The Portuguese pharmaceutical firm Aneid-Produtos Farmacêuticos Lda acted as collaborative partners.
Forty-three (43) patients with HPV Lesions (LSIL) were divided into two groups:
– A Control group (21 patients) who did not receive any treatment
– A treatment group (22 patients) who each received Coriolus versicolor supplementation for a period of one year (6 tablets/day i.e. 3g/day)
At first observation, patients were examined with colposcopy, biopsy and HPV tipification (hybrid capture). Cervical cytology exams (Pap smear tests) determined the patients’ LSIL status and this was confirmed through colposcopy and biopsy.
Four months after the first observations, colposcopy and cervical cytology was again carried out on all patients. At the same time, there was an evaluation of the possible side effects from Coriolus supplementation.
After one year, (at the end of the supplementation period), colposcopy, cervical cytology and HPV typing were carried out on all patients.
The authors measured the efficacy of Coriolus supplementation in LSIL patients in terms of the evolution of HPV status from High Risk HPV+ status to High Risk HPV- status. High Risk HPV, refers to certain strains of HPV that are known to be associated with causing cervical cancer, such strains include HPV 16, 18, 31 and 45. The persistence of cervical lesions as measured by colposcopy and cytology was also determined.
Out of the 43 patients enrolled, 39 completed the trial. Of the four (4) who did not complete the trial, 1 patient left the country and 3 discontinued supplementation due to mild side-effects. The side-effects were not serious and did not warrant further medical intervention.
The age distribution of the two groups was very similar. Patients receiving Coriolus versicolor supplementation had an average age of 31.7 years (minimum age of 19, maximum age of 49 years). The control group had an average age of 33.4 years (minimum age of 19 and a maximum of 51 years).
Of the 39 patients who completed one year of follow-up, 18 took Coriolus supplementation, while the other 21 patients received no therapy (Control group). After 1 year 13 of the 18 patients in the Coriolus group showed normal cervical cytology (72.5%) while only 10 of the patients in the control group did (47.5%).
Of the 39 patients, 22 were positive for high risk HPV subtypes.10 of these patients were in the Coriolus group and 12 in the control group. After 1 year 9 of the 10 in the Coriolus group had reverted to HPV- status (90%) while only 1 of the 12 in the control group had (8.5%).
What do these results mean for HPV patients?
The results from this study are encouraging and provide insight into the effectiveness of Coriolus versicolor as a useful immunonutrition agent. Using Coriolus supplementation for one year resulted in 72.5% of recipients reverting to normal cytology compares with only 47.5% of the control group. Encouragingly, 90% of the Coriolus recipients reverted to a HPV- status compared with only 8.5% in the control group.
While the study sample size is limited in number, the results strongly suggest that using Coriolus versicolor as a food supplementation agent offers doctors a useful nutritional tool when treating HPV (LSIL) patients over the age of 35 or those HPV (LSIL) patients with compromised immune systems.
It is also likely that Coriolus versicolor could be beneficial in HSIL patients who have undergone surgery but who experience recurrent lesions caused by persistent HPV viral infection; the eradication or “control” of the viral infection is key to both LSIL and HSIL patient care.
According to Dr Silva Couto, one of the study authors “At present, we believe that the optimal supplementation period may actually be as short as six months. Further testing is required to determine the best way to reduce the time period from the one year period used in this study.”. A shorter period of treatment would aid compliance as well as reducing the already minimal overall cost of therapy.
Why Coriolus versicolor?
As already stated, the mushroom Coriolus versicolor has been used in traditional Asian medicine for a long time. It is now known that Coriolus contains high quantities of Beta-glucans that act to stimulate the immune system. Studies have shown that Coriolus can double the number of natural killer cells after only 8-weeks of treatment.1,2 The benefits of treatment with the fungus has also been tested in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Coriolus versicolor (strain CV-OH1) is grown aseptically on sterile, edible grain, harvested and then produced as a tablet following good manufacturing practice according to pharmaceutical guidelines. It is free from pesticide, heavy metals and contaminants.
1. Jean A. Monro, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. J Integrative Medicine 2004;8:101-108
2. Jean A. Monro Treatment of Cancer with Mushroom Products. Arch Env Health 2003;58:533-537
Source: Medical News Today