Host-immune functions of patients with cancer have been reported to be suppressed by Th1/Th2 imbalance that is regulated by cytokines such as IFN-\#947; and IL-10. Mushroom extracts have been proven to improve host-immune functions in cancer patients, and have been developed to be used as Biological Response Modifiers. We have evaluated the usefulness of total cytokine production by peripheral blood as a prognostic indicator compared with Th1 (CD4+IFN-\#947;+ cells) / Th2 (CD4+IL-4+ cells) balance by general flow cytometry analysis. We also studied 5 kinds of mushroom extracts that have been widely used in Asia in their immunomodulatory effects in cancer patients. Thirteen patients with variable malignant diseases including prostatic, colon, kidney, gastric and lung cancer and 13 patients who have received surgery but not recurred (cancer free: CF) were entered in this study. Lentinula edodes mycelia, Cordyceps sinensis mycelia, Phellinus linteus, Ganoderma lucidum and Agaricus blazei were measured in IFN-\#947; production by peripheral blood of each patient and the one that responded mostly was selected. It was administered to each patient for 20 weeks. The values of IFN-\#947; and IL-10 were measured by ELISA at 2 points, before and 20 weeks after the administration. Although the ratios of IFN-\#947;/IL-10 productions in patients with poor prognosis who died within 6 months did not increase after treatment, those with good prognosis statistically increased (from 0.58±0.71 to 2.97±6.46, p<0.01). In the patients with good prognosis, the production of IFN-\#947; tended to increase but IL-10 did to decrease. The opposite change was, however, seen in those with poor prognosis. Th1/Th2 cell balance, in contrast, did not change in each group. In CF group, the ratio of IFN-\#947;/IL-10 increased(p<0.05). Thus, the ratio of these productions seems to be useful as a prognostic indicator in cancer bearing host and these mushroom extracts have shown to be effective in improving immunosuppression in cancer patients.

Citation Information: In: Proc Am Assoc Cancer Res; 2009 Apr 18-22; Denver, CO. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; 2009. Abstract nr 5087.

100th AACR Annual Meeting-- Apr 18-22, 2009; Denver, CO