Effect of various natural products on growth of bladder cancer cells: two promising mushroom extracts

Altern Med Rev. 2007 Mar;12(1):63-8.


Despite the availability of several therapeutic options, a safer and more effective modality is urgently needed for treatment of bladder cancer. Specific immunotherapy is effective, but severe side effects limit its clinical use and underscore the need for unconventional therapies using less toxic substances. Many natural substances are touted for their medicinal aspects and side effect profiles, and some of these have been well characterized for their biological and medicinal properties. Accordingly, the effects on bladder cancer cells in vitro were investigated. Eight commercially available natural products were tested for possible effects on the growth of human bladder cancer T24 cells. This study demonstrated that two mushroom extracts, GD- and PL-fractions, induced a significant (>90 percent) growth reduction in 72 hours, whereas the remaining six products had no effect. Interestingly, non-toxic concentrations of the GD- or PL-fractions, when combined with a non-toxic concentration of vitamin C, became highly cytotoxic, resulting in >90-percent cell death. Thus, vitamin C appears to act synergistically with these fractions to potentiate their bioactivity (cytotoxicity). No other products tested demonstrated such a synergistic potentiation with vitamin C. The present study indicates that GD- and PL-fractions appear to have the most potent cytotoxic effect on human bladder cancer T24 cells. It is thus plausible that these substances could be used, solely or combined with conventional modalities, for the treatment of superficial bladder cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Fungi / chemistry*
  • Grifola / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Vitamins
  • Ascorbic Acid