Evidence Against

An open-label study compared the effect of extracts from Agaricus blazei (Murill mushroom) with G. lucidum among 47 men who experience biochemical failure after radical treatment of prostate cancer.15 There was no effect of either mushroom extract on the primary endpoint of partial response rate (defined as at least a 50% decrease in serum prostate-specific antigen).

Another open-label study of men with advanced lung cancer evaluated the effect of water-soluble polysaccharides from G. lucidum on immune function.16 There was high variability among the 36 patients, but overall there was no significant difference in mean mitogenic reactivity to phytohemagglutinin, or levels of CD3, CD4, CD8, CD56, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, interferon-gamma, or NK activity.

Conclusions

There are multiple, consistent in vitro reports of anticancer activity through several molecular mechanisms that suggest Reishi mushrooms may have anticancer activity.

A paucity of clinical trials exists using Reishi mushroom or its extract, and, of the trials conducted, the data do not support its use. To date, the only positive study showed improved response to chemotherapy. This is hypothesis-generating; more research is needed to determine if Reishi mushroom has any anticancer effects, including a synergistic or sensitizing effect with other agents.

Reference

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