Bladder Cancer

Clinical studies in China showed polysaccharide extracts of Polyporus umbellatus to be as effective in preventing post-operative recurrence of bladder cancer as BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) and greater than Mitomycin C (MMC)1,2. One study of 313 patients after TURBT (transurethral resection of bladder tumour) or partial cystectomy who were followed up for 2 to 15 years (average 7.6 years) reported recurrence rates of 34.9% in the group receiving P. umbellatus polysaccharide extract, compared with 35.1% in the BCG group, 41.7% in the MMC group and 64.7% in the control group 3.

In animal experiments P. umbellatus also inhibited the development of bladder cancer in rats exposed to N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl) nitrosamine with 11 of 18 animals staying cancer free. Polysaccharide extracts of Lentinus edodes, Grifola frondosa and Pleurotus ostreatus showed similar increases in host resistance with 9 of 17, 13 of 20 and 7 of 15 animals staying cancer free 4.

In vitro studies with G. frondosa and Phellinus linteus extracts showed synergistic action with vitamin C against bladder cancer cell lines with non-cytotoxic doses of polysaccharide extracts becoming highly cytotoxic in combination with non-toxic levels of vitamin C 5.

1. Inhibitory effect of Chinese herb medicine zhuling on urinary bladder cancer. An experimental and clinical study. Yang D.A. Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi. 1991;29(6):393-5,399
2. Prophylactic effects of zhuling and BCG on postoperative recurrence of bladder cancer. Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi. Yang D.A, Li S.Q, Li X.T. 1994;32(7):433-4
3. Prevention of postoperative recurrence of bladder cancer: a clinical study. Yang D, Li S, Wang H, Li X, Liu S, Han W, Hao J, Zhang H. Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi. 1999;37(8):464-5
4. Effects of Lentinus edodes, Grifola frondosa and Pleurotus ostreatus administration on cancer outbreak, and activities of macrophages and lymphocytes in mice treated with a carcinogen, N-butyl-N-butanol-nitrosoamine. Kurashige S, Akuzawa Y, Endo F. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 1997;19(2):175-83
5. Effect of various natural products on growth of bladder cancer cells: two promising mushroom extracts. Konno S. Altern Med Rev. 2007;12(1):63-8

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