Williams Cancer Institute

Therapeutic Effects of Medicinal Mushrooms on Gastric, Breast, and Colorectal Cancer: A Scoping Review

Introduction: In recent years, there has been growing interest in the potential therapeutic benefits of medicinal mushrooms in the treatment of various types of cancer. This scoping review, published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), explores the existing research on the use of medicinal mushrooms for gastric, breast, and colorectal cancer.

The Medicinal Mushroom Renaissance: Medicinal mushrooms have a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly in Asia. However, modern research has shed new light on their potential as a complementary or alternative treatment for cancer. The scoping review delves into the therapeutic effects of various mushroom species on gastric, breast, and colorectal cancers.

Key Findings: The scoping review presents a comprehensive overview of studies conducted on medicinal mushrooms, highlighting several key findings:

  1. Anti-Tumor Properties: Many medicinal mushrooms, such as Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi), Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail), and Grifola frondosa (Maitake), have demonstrated anti-tumor properties in preclinical and clinical studies.
  2. Immunomodulatory Effects: Medicinal mushrooms are known for their immunomodulatory effects, which can enhance the body’s immune response to cancer cells. This is particularly relevant in breast cancer, where immune function plays a crucial role.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Angiogenic Effects: Some mushroom compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic effects, which can help inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.
  4. Complementary Therapy: Medicinal mushrooms are not proposed as standalone treatments but rather as complementary therapies alongside conventional cancer treatments.

Challenges and Future Research: The scoping review acknowledges the need for further research in this field. While promising, the existing studies have limitations, and more rigorous clinical trials are necessary to establish the efficacy and safety of medicinal mushrooms as part of cancer treatment.

Conclusion: The scoping review concludes that medicinal mushrooms show promise as a complementary therapy for gastric, breast, and colorectal cancer. However, it emphasizes the importance of conducting more extensive and rigorous research to fully understand their potential benefits and mechanisms of action.

This scoping review opens the door to further exploration of the therapeutic effects of medicinal mushrooms in cancer treatment, offering hope for enhanced cancer care options in the future.

Reference: Amit Dan, Robyn Swain, Seigna Belonce, Robin J Jacobs, 14 Apr 2023, Therapeutic Effects of Medicinal Mushrooms on Gastric, Breast, and Colorectal Cancer: A Scoping Review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10183216/

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