A type of mushroom commonly used in Chinese cooking may become an important weapon in the fight against cancer.
A new study has found that the Maitake mushroom, which grows up to eight inches in diameter, can shrink cancer tumors by as much as 75 percent. The mushroom could help combat bladder and prostate cancer, which kill many thousands every year.
As reported by Tamara Cohen in the UK’s Daily Mail, Dr. Sensuke Konno found that by combining a tiny concentrated extract of the mushroom with anti-cancer proteins called interferon alpha, the growth of bladder and prostate cancer cells was reduced in patients by up to three quarters. Dr. Konno called the development ‘a very significant breakthrough.’
Also quoted in the Daily Mail article was Dr. Alison Ross, senior information officer at Cancer Research UK. She noted that many chemotherapy drugs now in use have been derived from natural substances found in plants. ‘It is not too far-fetched to think that mushrooms could be a valuable source of anti-cancer drugs,’ Dr. Ross said.
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