Study claim: The natural carbohydrate WGP Beta Glucan binds to specific receptors on neutrophils, which are not normally engaged in the fight against cancer, and recruits these innate immune cells to attack tumour cells.
Published: Hong F, et al. Mechanism by which orally administered beta-1,3-glucans enhance the tumoricidal activity of antitumor monoclonal antibodies in murine tumor models. J Immunol 2004; 173:797-806.
Abstract: The current investigation examined the mechanism of oral uptake of soluble barley and particulate yeast beta-1,3-glucans in an animal model. It showed that these large beta-1,3-glucans were taken up by gastrointestinal macrophages and shuttled to reticuloendothelial tissues and bone marrow. Within the bone marrow, the macrophages degraded the large beta-1,3-glucans into smaller, soluble, biologically active beta-1,3-glucan fragments that bound to specific receptors (CR3) of mature bone marrow granulocytes (neutrophils and eosinophils). These granulocytes with CR3-bound beta-1,3-glucan-fluorescein were shown to migrate to the site of tumour cells and kill them. This study found that orally administered WGP Beta Glucan goes through an intermediate step in which the body breaks down the insoluble glucan into soluble components. Notably, oral beta-glucan-mediated tumour killing also required the presence of complement, a blood protein, on the surface of the cancer cells. The beta-glucan therapy failed in tests in which the tumours lacked complement or the granulocytes lacked CR3.
Potential applications: As a supplement, WGP Beta Glucan acts as an immune system enhancer and a promising complementary cancer immunotherapy.
Biopolymer Engineering Inc
Tel: +1 651 256 4606
Study claim: A genistein-rich extract given to men with a history of prostate cancer was ineffective in lowering prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, though most patients in the active surveillance group had either no rise or a decline in PSA levels.
Published: White RW. Effects of a genistein-rich extract on PSA levels in men with a history of prostate cancer. Urology 2004 Feb; 63(2):259-63.
Abstract: In an open-label pilot study, 52 men with prostate cancer who had two consecutive elevated PSA readings were given capsules containing a genistein-rich extract three times daily. Subjects were in five groups: after radical retropubic prostatectomy; after radiotherapy; after both; off-cycle during hormonal therapy; or active surveillance (watchful waiting). At six months, one of 52 had a greater than 50% reduction in PSA levels. Seven more had PSA reductions less than 50%. In all, 0 of 52 had complete response, nine (17%) had partial response, eight (15%) had stable disease, and 35 (67%) had disease progression.
In conclusion, a genistein-rich extract as the sole treatment for prostate cancer does not appear to be an effective treatment for prostate cancer when given alone. However, eight of 13 evaluated patients in the active surveillance group had either no rise or a decline in PSA levels of less than 50 per cent.
More study is warranted for using a genistein-rich extract on PSA levels for those choosing active surveillance of recurring prostate cancer.
Potential applications: Genistein Combined Polysaccharide, a supplement manufactured in Japan, is composed of genistein and a polysaccharide obtained from basidiomycetes (mycelia) that grows in a variety of mushrooms.
AHCC & GCP Research Association
Tel: +1 914 251 0255
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