Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Anti-cancer compound from medicinal mushrooms
Hamedi A.1, Ghanati F.2
1Shaheed Beheshti Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran, Iran 2Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran
Various mushrooms have been used as folk medicine for long times, the higher Basidiomycetes have become a matter of great interest due to their diverse nutritional, medicinal, and pharmacological properties. 650 species and intraspecific taxa from 182 genera of higher Hetero- and Homo-basidiomycetes have been listed that contain biological active anti-tumor and immunostimulative polysaccharides.
Recently, lentinan, shizophyllan and krestin have been accepted as immunoceuticals in several oriental countries. Polysaccharides present the highest capacity for carrying biological information since they have the greatest potential for structural variability.
Immunoceutical compound offer hope for cancer patient. These substances are pro-homeostatic uniquely effective immune boosters, which pose no threat of autoimmune backlash. The enhancement or potentiation of host defense mechanisms has been recognized as a possible means of inhibiting tumor growth without harming the host.
Antitumor polysaccharides isolated from mushrooms (fruit-body, submerged cultured mycelial biomass or liquid culture broth) are either water-soluble β-D-glucans, β-D-glucans with heterosaccharide chains of xylose, mannose, galactose, and uronic acid or; β-D-glucan-protein complexes-proteoglycans.
Certain terpenoids and their derivatives have been isolated from mushroom species have been shown cytotoxic and anti-cancer properties.
The discovery and identification of new safe drugs, without sever side effects, has become an important goal of research in the biomedical sciences and mushrooms have shown that they can be an interesting goal for cancer research.