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G. lucidum inhibits triple-negative breast cancer and melanoma
2021-10-22    Hit:93   Font: 
February 28, 2017 / National Cancer Institute "G. Pascale" / Nutrients

Text / Wu Tingyao
The National Cancer Institute "G. Pascale" in Naples, Italy published a report in Nutrients in February 2017, stating that Ganoderma lucidum extract has inhibitory effects on melanoma and triple-negative breast cancer.

This institution, which specializes in cancer research and has a specialized hospital for cancer treatment, has also begun to think about how to use traditional medicinal materials for cancer treatment in recent years. Ganoderma lucidum, which has attracted a lot of scientific research, is the material they want to explore after Curcumin.
However, before actually using Ganoderma lucidum in treatment, the researchers of this institution believe that it is necessary to understand the effects of Ganoderma lucidum on different cancers and what kind of Ganoderma lucidum preparations are more effective.
They selected melanoma and triple-negative breast cancer, which proliferate rapidly (the number of cancer cells will double within 48 hours) and are also highly aggressive, as their primary targets for exploring the anti-cancer activity of Ganoderma lucidum.

Refractory melanoma and triple negative breast cancer
The occurrence of melanoma is mainly related to the excessive exposure of melanocytes to ultraviolet radiation. It is a rare but also the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

According to Wikipedia, in the United States, after treatment, only the five-year survival rate for patients with local cancer is 98%. If metastasis has occurred, the five-year survival rate is only 17%.

Triple-negative breast cancer, which accounts for 10 to 15 percent of all breast cancers, has no ER, PR or HER2 receptors on its cell surface. It proliferates spontaneously without the stimulation of female hormones or growth factors. There are no targeted drugs available for this type of cancer, and traditional chemotherapy has limited effects on it. So no matter what stage it is, it's more likely to recur and metastasize than any other type of breast cancer. Moreover, there are also fewer treatment options once relapse or metastasis occurs.

Ganoderma lucidum reduces the survival rate of cancer cells
From the results of this study, Ganoderma lucidum has an inhibitory effect on these two types of intractable cancer cells.

After mouse melanoma cells (B16-F10) and human triple negative breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) were cultured respectively with Ganoderma lucidum for 48 h, the survival rate of cancer cells was significantly affected (as shown in the figure below).
The effect of Ganoderma lucidum on the survival rate of triple-negative breast cancer cells
The effect of Ganoderma lucidum
 on the survival rate of melanoma cells
Interestingly, the "Ganoderma Lucidum extract" obtained by directly dissolving Ganoderma Lucidum fruiting body powder in DMSO solvent was not only more lethal against the two cancer cells than the "Ganoderma Lucidum ethanol extract" obtained by extracting Ganoderma Lucidum fruiting body with ethanol. It is also stronger than the combined effect of Ganoderma lucidum extract and curcumin (10μM).

The ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum mainly contains a large amount of triterpenoids while the extract obtained by dissolving Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body powder with DMSO has a little bit of each component. Perhaps because of the relatively complete variety of ingredients, it can play the role of "two heads are better than one". 

Ganoderma lucidum limits the ability of cancer cells to move
The researchers further observed the effect of Ganoderma lucidum on cancer metastasis: Put melanoma cells on both sides of the cell culture plate (the white part in the figure below), and spread the Ganoderma lucidum extract (obtained by dissolving Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body powder in DMSO solvent) on the dividing line in the middle.

After 48 hours, it was found that the higher the concentration of Ganoderma lucidum in the middle of the culture plate, the fewer the number of cancer cells that moved in from both sides (as shown in the bottom row of the figure below). Similar results also appeared in the cell migration experiment of human triple-negative breast cancer cells. This result shows that Ganoderma lucidum can reduce the mobility of cancer cells.
The effect of Ganoderma lucidum on the migration ability of melanoma cells
Ganoderma lucidum reduces the effects of inflammation
Because the inflammatory environment prompts cancer cells to secrete substances that promote cancer cell growth and metastasis, thereby accelerating the progression of cancer, the researchers specifically explored the effects of Ganoderma lucidum in this regard.

The researchers used LPS (lipopolysaccharide, also known as endotoxin) to simulate the inflammatory environment in the body, that is, to cultivate LPS and human triple-negative breast cancer cells for 12 hours. The results showed that IL-6, IL-8, MMP-2 and MMP-9 secreted by cancer cells significantly increased.

However, if cancer cells were cultured with 2 mg/mL of Ganoderma lucidum extract for 30 minutes in advance, and then LPS was added, the IL-6, IL-8, MMP-2, and MMP-9 levels after 12 hours would be reduced by one to two percent (compared with the situation without Ganoderma lucidum). If the dosage of Ganoderma lucidum extract is increased to 5 mg/mL, the concentration of these substances can be reduced by 40 to 50 percent (as shown in the figure below).

Similar results can also be observed on melanoma cells. Those who are interested can refer to the four pictures at the top of the seventh page of the original paper.
Secretion of cytokine and matrix metalloproteinases in human triple-negative breast cancer cells

The significance of IL-6, IL-8, MMP-2 and MMP-9 on cancer
Previous studies have shown that excessive levels of IL-6 not only induce breast cancer and melanoma but also accelerate disease progression and reduce survival. Excessive IL-8 can promote the proliferation, metastasis and tumor angiogenesis of breast cancer, reduce the sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy drugs, and affect the therapeutic effect.

In addition, MMP-2 and MMP-9, two matrix metallopoateinase (MMP) proteins, are essential for cancer cells to move from tissues and organs to blood vessels and then move elsewhere along with the bloodstream.

According to the original script, the inflammatory environment promotes triple-negative breast cancer and melanoma cells to secrete large amounts of IL-6, IL-8, MMP-2, and MMP-9. Now this study from Italy points out that Ganoderma lucidum can reduce the effect of inflammation on these two types of cancer cells and reduce the secretion of these substances.

This result seems to imply that with the intervention of Ganoderma lucidum, these two kinds of cancers can have more opportunities to develop in a good direction.

Ganoderma lucidum with multiple ingredients seems to be more helpful
Although the above studies are only the results of cell experiments, they reveal that the anti-cancer effect of Ganoderma lucidum has attracted the attention of mainstream Western medical circles. It also allows us to see that Ganoderma lucidum composed of different ingredients has different effects.

Researchers believe that Ganoderma lucidum extracts containing various active ingredients seem to be more beneficial to the treatment of cancer than the alcohol extracts of Ganoderma lucidum which contain a relatively single ingredient. In the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer and melanoma, the use of Ganoderma lucidum's anti-inflammatory and anti-metastasis properties may bring more favorable opportunities for these two types of intractable cancers.

[Source] Barbieri A, et al. Anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties of Ganoderma lucidum extract effects on melanoma and triple-negative breast cancer treatment. Nutrients. 2017 Feb 28;9(3).

About the author/ Ms. Wu Tingyao
Wu Tingyao has been reporting on first-hand Ganoderma information since 1999. She is the author of Healing with Ganoderma (published in The People's Medical Publishing House in April 2017). 
★ This article is published under the exclusive authorization of the author. ★ The above works cannot be reproduced, excerpted or used in other ways without the authorization of the author. ★ For violations of the above statement, the author will pursue relevant legal responsibilities. ★ The original text of this article was written in Chinese by Wu Tingyao and translated into English by Alfred Liu. If there is any discrepancy between the translation (English) and the original (Chinese), the original Chinese shall prevail. If readers have any questions, please contact the original author, Ms. Wu Tingyao.
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