A pilot trial brought new insight into a very old fungus, as scientists recently discussed the potential power of Japanese mushroom extract to blast the human papillomavirus (HPV).
University of Texas scientists presented results of their research involving active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), made from shitake mushroom extract, to the 11th International Conference of the Society of Integrative Oncology in Houston this week. The trial was noted on sciencedaily.com.
HPV is believed to be responsible for more than 90 percent of anal and cervical cancers, about 70 percent of vaginal and vulvar cancers and more than 60 percent of penile cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control. About 70 percent of cancers of the oropharynx (the back of the tongue and throat) may be linked to HPV as well.
During the study, ten HPV-positive women received AHCC once daily for up to six months, according to a university release. Five achieved a negative HPV test result, three with confirmed eradication after stopping AHCC. The other two subjects continue within the study.
Judith A. Smith, Pharm.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the UTHealth Medical School was the study’s principal investigator.
“The results are very encouraging,” said Smith, who directs UTHealth’s Women’s Health Integrative Medicine Research Team, in the release. “We were able to determine that at least three months of treatment is necessary but some need to extend that to six months. Since AHCC is a nutritional supplement with no side effects and other immune modulating benefits, we will be planning on using six months of treatment in our phase II clinical study to have consistent study treatment plan. This confirms our earlier preclinical research.”
Six thousand years after Chinese medicine practitioners began using mushrooms in their practice, Western scientists have begun to confirm - and appreciate- their power.