New prostate cancer treatments today: zytiga and the yunzi mushroom?


New prostate cancer treatments today: zytiga and the yunzi mushroom?


This week two developments in prostate cancer have been unveiled. First, Zytiga (abiraterone acetate), an ingested pill treatment, has been found to potentially extend life by up to four months in men with spreading cancer who have already been treated with chemotherapy. Second, compound found in "turkey-tail," or Yunzi mushrooms, called polysaccharopeptide (PSP), is 100% effective for protecting against prostate tumor growth in laboratory rodents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed form of cancer among men in the U.S., following skin cancer. More than 220,000 men develop the condition each year, the organization notes.

Okay, so let's start with the manufactured remedy that can allow prostate cancer victims live longer.

The new drug Zytiga, which was approved by the FDA in April, inhibits a protein that helps form male hormones. The findings may help reshape the way doctors view and treat advanced prostate cancer. Men who took the pill also saw greater responses in levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) than men who received placebo. Elevated levels of PSA may be a marker for prostate cancer.

Those men who received steroid therapy along with the new pill survived for 14.8 months, on average, compared with 10.9 months seen among those who received a placebo along with steroids. This translated into a 34% reduction in risk of dying, the study shows.

Now for the Yunzi (Coriolus versicolor) mushroom. Recent studies have indicated that there may be some scientific proof behind several natural medical treatments that have been used for hundreds of years in Asian cultures.

Lead researcher Patrick Ling comments:

"In the past, other inhibitors tested in research trials have been shown to be up to 70% effective, but we're seeing 100% of this tumor prevented from developing with PSP."

As stated, 100% of the mice that fed with water only developed prostate tumors at the end of experiment, no tumors could be found in any of the mice fed with PSP, suggesting that PSP treatment can completely inhibit prostate tumor formation. Our results not only demonstrated the intriguing anti-CSC effect of PSP, but also revealed, for the first time, the surprising chemopreventive property of oral PSP consumption against prostate cancer.

Coriolus versicolor is a mushroom of the Basidiomycetes class. It was used initially in Traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic, but recent studies suggest that it has immunostimulant and anti-tumor properties. Polysaccharide-K (PSK), known in the United States as PSP, a proprietary product derived from Coriolus, was developed for cancer treatment in Japan. When used as an adjuvant, PSK appears to improve survival rates in patients with gastric and colorectal cancers.

One clinical study demonstrated that when used in conjunction with chemotherapy, PSP may benefit patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Other clinical studies using Coriolus extract alone or in combination with other botanicals also suggest positive immunomodulatory effects. However, studies on breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, and leukemia produced mixed results. A hot water extract of Coriolus, VPS, was found to enhance development of large intestinal tumors in mice. Coriolus extracts are generally well tolerated but minor adverse effects have been reported.

Sources: National Institute of Health, The New England Journal of Medicine and The Public Library of Science


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