Background/aims: Recently, complementary alternative medicine is actively performed for cancer therapy. Superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan)--an oral effective form--was recently developed and available. We investigated the effectiveness of superfine dispersed lentinan in advanced pancreatic cancer patients in a multi-center study.
Methodology: Twenty-nine patients with unresectable and recurrent pancreatic cancer were enrolled, and adverse events and quality of life scores were assessed. Survival times were evaluated according to results of a 3-year follow-up survey.
Results: Although a diarrhea of grade-1 adverse event dependent on the test article (3.4%) was observed, the symptom was remitted without any treatment. This indicates that test article was free of anything harmful. Median survival time was 12.1 months (95% confidence interval: 7.3-25.7 months) in 25 eligible patients. Five (20%) out of 25 patients were alive for 3 years. There was a significant correlation between the quality of life scores after the superfine dispersed lentinan treatment and survival times.
Conclusions: A superfine dispersed lentinan is deemed safe and effective for advanced pancreatic patients' survival and improvement of quality of life. And the assessment of quality of life status after the administration of superfine dispersed lentinan is a promising prognostic predictor.