Clinical efficacy of superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatogastroenterology. Mar-Apr 2009;56(90):437-41.


Background/aims: Recently, complementary alternative medicine is actively performed for cancer therapy. We investigated the effectiveness of supplementary food containing superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan) in patients with unresectable or recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma in a multi-center study.

Methodology: Peripheral blood was collected prior to the test food ingestion and was incubated with fluorescein-labeled lentinan. The rates of lentinan-binding CD14+ monocytes were determined by flow cytometry. Patient survival times were followed up for 3 years.

Results: Thirty-six patients were eligible among 40 enrolled patients. Median survival time of eligible patients was 13.6 months (95% confidence interval, 8.7-18.9 months). Survival times of patients who ingested test food for a mean period of 47 weeks (range, 26 to 145 weeks) were significantly longer than that of patients who ingested for 7 to 12 weeks (p < 0.05). The rates of lentinan-binding cells in CD14+ monocytes showed individual variations (0.1-19.7%; Median, 1.6%). Survival times (median survival time, 16.3 months) of lentinan-high-binding group were significantly longer than those (median survival time, 12.5 months) of lentinan-low-binding group (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: A superfine dispersed lentinan-containing supplementary food is effective for hepatocellular carcinoma patients' survival. Long-time ingestion is preferable. Assessment of lentinan-binding CD14+ monocytes is a promising prognostic predictor.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lentinan / administration & dosage
  • Lentinan / therapeutic use*
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Lentinan