Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a leading cause of cancer deaths, but most patients (over 69%) were diagnosed at advanced stages. Although polysaccharide peptides (PSP), isolated from the fungus Yunzhi (Coriolus versicolor), have been reported to have anti-tumor effects in animal studies during chemotherapy, its efficacy to extend survival in humans has not been properly evaluated.
The first study to demonstrate the efficacy of Yunzhi to strengthen the immune system and improve survival was reported in the 2003 issue of the Respiratory Medical Journal. In that study, 34 patients who had advanced NSCLC and had received conventional treatment were randomized to receive either PSP or placebo for 28 days.
After 28-day treatment with PSP, there was a significant improvement in blood leukocyte, neutrophil counts, serum IgG and IgM and percentage of body fat among the PSP, but not in the control group (P<0.05).
Most importantly, significantly fewer patients (5.9%) treated PSP than their control counterparts (23.5%) withdrew from the study due to disease progression (P=0.04). There was no difference in the adverse reaction reported in both arms.
Based on this and other studies, patients with advanced NSCLC should consider taking Yunzhi to strengthen their immune system and possibly to extend their lives.
Yunzhi has also been shown to improve immune system in nasopharyngeal cancer patients in another study.
Source:Respir Med. 2003 Jun; 97(6):618-24
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