Nature against Cancer

Another world success of Croatian scientists

A special issue of the prestigious scientific journal Molecules, dedicated to translational research on antitumor drugs, published the latest research on the antitumor and immunomodulatory effects of complex medicinal mushroom extracts. This world-significant research is authored by Boris Jakopović and associates and is the result of cooperation between the Croatian company Dr Myko San – Health from Mushrooms and internationally recognized scientists from the Universities of Zagreb and Rijeka.

In a preclinical model of advanced colon cancer, complex combinations of medicinal mushroom extracts Agarikon.1 and Agarikon Plus were found to interfere with the processes necessary for the growth and spread of this tumor. This results in significantly better survival and tumor volume reduction.

One of the main established mechanisms is the so-called targeted cytotoxicity toward tumor cells. This specificity was confirmed by the harmlessness of the studied extracts toward the studied healthy cells. Molecular biology methods have shown that causing cell death (apoptosis) in tumor cells is one of the main mechanisms of action of the studied preparations. Although only the effect on colon cancer cells was presented in this paper, this five-year-long study confirmed the same or similar effects on cancers of the breast, pancreas, cervix, lung, and liver. Similar effects observed in different types of tumors are due to certain common features of all tumors, by which they differ from normal tissues.

Research on colon cancer reveals key immune antitumor mechanisms of action of Agarikon.1 and Agarikon Plus. They include so-called macrophage polarization, i.e. reprogramming of macrophages – key immune cells – by which they are reactivated and participate in the destruction of tumors. Immune effects have been found to be due to high concentrations of beta-glucans and other groups of substances (such as polyphenols and triterpenes) from fungi and include an increase in the production of interferon and other cytokines, thereby activating innate and acquired antitumor immunity. Cytokines are key molecules that activate all immune cells (such as lymphocytes) while preventing the production of other cytokines that block the antitumor immune response.

Use of Agarikon.1 and Agarikon Plus alone or in combination leads to a significant reduction in the production of VEGF, a key molecule that stimulates the growth of tumor blood vessels, which correlates with increased survival. This prevents the process of further tumor growth and metastasis.

The antitumor effects of Agarikon.1 and Agarikon Plus have also been studied in combination with standard chemotherapy, and it has been found that mycotherapy with complex extracts from medicinal mushrooms can enhance its effects and alleviate their side effects.

Want to know more:

Read the article here (.pdf – 2.5 MB)