A polysaccharide preparation isolated from Coriolus versicolor (Fr.) Quél. of Basidiomycetes (PSK) predominantly consists of glucan and approximately 25% tightly bound protein. PSK was effective against various allogeneic and syngeneic animal tumors and has been given orally to cancer patients. Various suppressed or enhanced immune responses of tumor-bearing animals were restored to normal levels by the administration of PSK in the tumor models tested. The killer T cell activity was augmented in tumor-bearing mice by intraperitoneal or oral administration of PSK, and there was correlation between the PSK associated antitumor effect and the killer T cell activity. It was found that PSK competed with immunosuppressive substances isolated from tumor-bearing mice and that the intestinal immune system appeared to be modulated by oral administration of PSK. After oral administration of 14C- or 35S-labeled PSK to normal rats, it was found that small or large molecular substances appeared in the serum depending on the time elapsed after administration, an indication that large molecular size products were from the digestive tract.
PMID: 6238674 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]