A phase I clinical study has found that the common white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, shows promise as an alternative to drug therapy for prostate cancer.
About one in seven men may be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetimes. Fortunately, it is a slow-growing cancer in most cases and has good survival rates when caught early.
Researchers studied the effects of the button mushroom on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in men who had biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. More than a third of the subjects (13 out of 36) had reductions in their PSA levels, and in two cases, PSA declined to undetectable levels. The mushroom therapy also appeared to decrease immunosuppressive factors.
Prostate cancer is typically treated with a variety of drugs that can have direct effects, such as anxiety, depression, and impotence. With the mushroom treatment, adverse effects were minimal, and were largely confined to minor abdominal bloating. This is promising news for patients who want to move away from standard drug treatment and toward safer and more natural therapies.
Adapted from Twardowski, P, Kanaya, N, Frankel, P, Synold, T, Ruel, C, Pal, S K, Junqueira, M, Prajapati, M, Moore, T, Tryon, P and Chen, S (2015), “A phase I trial of mushroom powder in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer: Roles of cytokines and myeloid-derived suppressor cells for Agaricus bisporus–induced prostate-specific antigen responses.” Cancer, 121: 2942–2950. doi:10.1002/cncr.29421.