W.C. Xue and T.F. Liu
Cancer Hospital, Shanghai Medical University
There is no really effective treatment for moderate and advanced stages of esophageal
carcinoma. Although surgery for the earlier cases has been able to give a 5 years survival
rate of 28.7%, such operable cases are relatively few. By far the greater majority are
already in stage III to IV when first seen in the clinic, and radiotherapy alone in these cases
has given a 5 years survival rate of only 8-14%. In order to improve treatment results, a
variety of chemotherapeutic agents have been used in combination surgery, but so far no
really effective drug has been found.
The drug PSP (polysaccharide-peptide of Coriolus versicolor) has been discovered and
produced by Professor Qing-yao Yang of. It is a new anti-cancer and immuno-regulatory
drug, similar to PSK (Krestin) but the effective component has been found to be larger
than PSK. Experimental data has proved these properties of PSP, and in vitro as well as
in vivo studies have all proved that PSP is superior to PSK. Of course, as is the case with
all new drugs, the ultimate proof of its value will have to be shown by clinical application.
Data on Krestin suggest that this family of drugs when used in combination with
radiotherapy, there might be an increase of the biological effects of radiation. To do a
pilot study on such a possibility, the authors have treated 41 moderate to advanced cases of
esophageal carcinoma with a combination of PSP and radiotherapy.