Study: Botanical formula inhibits aggressive form of breast cancer

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Anti-cancer mushrooms?: A recent study conducted at the Cancer Research Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute at Indiana University Health, showed that medicinal mushrooms that are combined in a formula with traditional Chinese herbs inhibit aggressive, human triple-negative breast cancer in mice. | FILE PHOTO

A unique formula made from medicinal mushrooms, traditional Chinese herbs and other natural ingredients inhibits aggressive, human triple-negative breast cancer and breast-to-lung metastasis in mice. This is the third peer-reviewed study to demonstrate the botanical formula’s anticancer effects.

The formula decreases metastasis, slows cancer growth and suppresses a number of pro-cancer genes, with no signs of toxicity.  This study was conducted at the Cancer Research Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute, Indiana University Health. Results were published in the October 2012 issue of Oncology Reports.

“Patients with triple-negative breast cancer often die from metastasis,” said study co-author Isaac Eliaz, M.D. “This formula, taken as a health supplement, may offer new hope for patients struggling to overcome an invasive, deadly disease which has been so difficult to treat.”

The formula succeeds by hitting cancer with a powerful combination therapy.  The medicinal mushrooms Trametes versicolor, Ganoderma lucidum and Phellinus linteus are shown to reduce cancer growth and invasiveness. Concentrated extracts from the botanicals Scutellaria barbata, Astragalus membranaceus and Curcuma longa induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) and can reduce cancer metastasis. The flavonoid, quercetin, reduces cancer cell proliferation and suppresses tumor growth. DIM (3,3’-Diindolylmethane), an active component derived from eating cruciferous vegetables, reduces cancer growth, migration and invasiveness.

In the study, cancer metastasized to the lungs in only 20 percent of treated mice compared to 70 percent of the untreated mice. Study authors also emphasize that in the treated mice that did show metastasis, the number and size of the metastatic lesions was dramatically reduced compared to the untreated group.

Gene analysis showed that the formula suppressed two genes implicated in breast cancer metastasis-PLAU and CXCR4. These results confirm previous in vitrostudies, in which the formula also down-regulated these cancer-promoting genes.

Triple-negative breast cancer is more invasive than other forms of the disease, with tumors that grow more aggressively, spread to other parts of the body faster, and recur more frequently. Women with triple-negative cancer have lower five-year survival rates than other breast cancer patients.

“This formula may be an important adjunct in treating the most aggressive type of breast cancer and other forms of this disease. It dramatically decreases the metastatic process, slows the growth of primary tumors and favorably alters oncogene expression,” Eliaz said. “But equally important, it achieves all this with no side effects.”

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— PR Newswire