When studied with modern clinical science, many medicinal mushrooms used in traditional Asian remedies have been found to possess powerful
biological compounds. Coriolus Versicolor (Trametes Versicolor) has been one of the most thoroughly researched mushrooms and is the subject of the most long-term human studies, particularly in the area of anti-cancer research.
Trametes versicolor — formerly known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor — is an extremely common polypore mushroom which can be found throughout the world. Versicolor means ‘of several colours’ and it is true that this mushroom is found in a wide variety of different colours. T. versicolor is commonly called Turkey Tail in the United States because of its resemblance to the tail of the wild turkey. T. versicolor is recognized as a medicinal mushroom in Chinese medicine under the name yun zhi (simplified Chinese: ??, traditional Chinese: ??). In China and Japan T. versicolor is used as in immunoadjuvant therapy for cancer.
Cloud mushroom contains several saccharides including polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK, krestin). The protein bound polysaccharides have been found to be immune-modulating and anti-tumor, and their polypeptide moieties are rich in aspartic acid and glutamic acid. By gas chromatography and HPLC, PSP has proved that in addition to glucose, it also contains five other monosaccharides – mannose, xylose, galactose, rhamnose and arabinose. The polysaccharide peptides can be found in the mycelium, while the fruiting body mainly contains polysaccharides
Recent evidence suggested that prostate cancer stem/progenitor cells (CSC) are responsible for cancer initiation as well as disease progression. Unfortunately, conventional therapies are only effective in targeting the more differentiated cancer cells and spare the CSCs. Here, we report that PSP, an active component extracted from the mushroom Turkey tail (also known as Coriolus versicolor), is effective in targeting prostate CSCs. We found that treatment of the prostate cancer cell line PC-3 with PSP led to the down-regulation of CSC markers (CD133 and CD44) in a time and dose-dependent manner. Meanwhile, PSP treatment not only suppressed the ability of PC-3 cells to form prostaspheres under non-adherent culture conditions, but also inhibited their tumorigenicity in vivo, further proving that PSP can suppress prostate CSC properties. To investigate if the anti-CSC effect of PSP may lead to prostate cancer chemoprevention, transgenic mice (TgMAP) that spontaneously develop prostate tumors were orally fed with PSP for 20 weeks. Whereas 100% of the mice that fed with water only developed prostate tumors at the end of experiment, no tumors could be found in any of the mice fed with PSP, suggesting that PSP treatment can completely inhibit prostate tumor formation. Our results not only demonstrated the intriguing anti-CSC effect of PSP, but also revealed, for the first time, the surprising chemopreventive property of oral PSP consumption against prostate cancer.
Coriolus versicolor extract
An extract derived from the mushroom Coriolus versicolor, containing polysaccharide K (PSK) and polysaccharidepeptide (PSP), with potential immunomodulating and antineoplastic activities. Coriolus versicolor extract has been shown to stimulate the production of lymphocytes and cytokines, such as interferons and interleukins, and may exhibit antioxidant activities. However, the precise mechanism of action(s) of this agent is unknown. Check for active clinical trials or closed clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)
Breast cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in the world (1), and it is the commonest cancer amongst women (1,2). The mortality of breast cancer is low (1), however, because of its high incidence and the increasing global trend (1,3,4), it results in medical costs worldwide estimated to be more than.
Coriolus mushroom is a fungus. People have used the fruiting body and other parts as folk medicine for a long time. Recently, researchers have started to isolate and identify substances in coriolus that might act like pharmaceutical drugs. Two of these substances are polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK). Scientists think these chemicals might be able to fight cancer and boost the immune system. Coriolus mushroom, PSP, and PSK are used for stimulating the immune system; treating herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), hepatitis, and pulmonary disorders; reducing phlegm; improving bodybuilding results; increasing energy; curing ringworm and a skin condition called impetigo; treating upper respiratory, urinary, and digestive tract infections; curing liver disorders including hepatitis; reducing the toxic effects and pain of chemotherapy and radiation therapy; increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy; prolonging life and raising the quality of life of cancer patients; and increasing appetite.
Currently, extracts of Coriolus versicolor called polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharopeptide (PSP) are under study as immune stimulants for use alongside chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer. These two related substances, made from slightly different strains of the fungus, are thought to act as “biological response modifiers,” meaning that they affect the body’s response to cancer.
Based on the PSP´s significant findings in the investigated cancers of the Phase II trial, permission was granted by the Chinese Administration of Health Bureau to carry out a multi-center Phase III clinical trial. Fourteen hospitals including the eight who participated in the phase II trial conducted this randomized study from April 1996 to September 1997.
Many fungal and plant derived bio active polysaccharides with a broad range of immunomodulatory activities are found in TCM. Some
such polysaccharides have been developed into drugs and showed clinical efficacy in controlled trials while the majority of such compounds remain as nutraceuticals with only preliminary research. Such polysaccharides are generally non-toxic and also possess other bio activities such as inducing differentiation, stimulating hematopoiesis, anti-metastasis, and antiangiogenesis, which make them ideal adjuvants in modern cancer therapy.