Efficacy of orally administered Lentinula edodes mycelia extract for advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy: a pilot study

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(7):1671-4.


This study investigated the influence of Lentinula edodes mycelia extract (LEM), an oral immunomodulator, on immune function and adverse events from chemotherapy. Subjects comprised 1 gastric and 7 colorectal cancer patients. The first course of treatment was chemotherapy alone and the second was chemotherapy plus concomitant administration of LEM. Adverse events and interferon (IFN)-γ production by CD4+ T, CD8+ T and CD56+ NK/NKT cells were evaluated at the end of each course. Grade 1 or 2 adverse events were observed at the end of the first course for 6 of 8 patients. In comparison, no patients displayed any adverse events at the end of the second course. Tendencies toward improved IFN-γ production by CD4+ T, CD8+ T and CD56+ NK/NKT cells was also seen. These results suggest that concomitant use of LEM with chemotherapy can decrease the incidence of adverse effects from cancer chemotherapy among patients with advanced cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD56 Antigen / analysis
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycelium
  • Pilot Projects
  • Shiitake Mushrooms / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • CD56 Antigen
  • Interferon-gamma