Mushroom Compound May Prevent Prostate Tumors

Scientists have discovered that a compound from Turkey Tail mushrooms has the ability to suppress prostate cancer stem cells.

AsianScientist (May 24, 2011) – Scientists from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and The University of Hong Kong (HKU) have determined a mushroom, traditionally used in Chinese herbal medicine, to be a potent suppressor of prostate tumors.

Polysaccharopeptide (PSP), an active component extracted from the Turkey Tail mushroom, also known as Coriolus vesicolor, targets prostate cancer stem cells and suppresses tumor formation. This is important since conventional therapies are only effective in targeting differentiated cancer cells, not the cancer stem cells that are responsible for disease initiation and progression.

During research trials done in HKU, PSP was orally administered for 20 weeks in transgenic mice that spontaneously develop prostrate tumors. No tumors were found in the mice fed with PSP, whereas all of the other mice not fed with PSP developed prostrate tumors.

Dr. Patrick Ling, from the Australian Prostrate Cancer Research Centre, Queensland and Institute of Biomedical Health & Innovation (IHBI) at QUT, said the research suggests that PSP treatment can completely inhibit prostate tumor formation.

He added that PSP had previously been shown to possess anti-cancer properties and the Turkey Tail mushroom has been widely used in Asia for medicinal benefits.

However, this research demonstrates, for the first time, the preventive property of oral PSP consumption against prostate cancer.

Although Turkey Tail mushrooms have valuable health properties, consuming them in sufficient quantities to prevent prostate cancer would prove challenging, said Dr. Ling.

A fundraiser has been organized in September to support further tests for the therapeutic potential of PSP against prostate tumors, either alone or in combination with other anti-cancer compounds.

The article can be found at: Luk SU et al. (2011) Chemopreventive Effect of PSP Through Targeting of Prostate Cancer Stem Cell-Like Population.


Source: Public Library of Science.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Tiffany Chua Copok graduated with a MA, BA (Hons) in natural sciences from Cambridge University, UK. Tiffany has worked as a research scientist at the non-profit International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. She has a lifelong passion for plant sciences.

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