Antitumor Activity of Extracts from Medicinal Basidiomycetes Mushrooms

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016;18(11):955-964. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v18.i11.10.


Aqueous extracts from the vegetative submerged mycelia of cultivated Basidiomycetes Ganoderma lucidum, Lentinus edodes, and Grifola frondosa, as well as from the fruiting bodies of G. lucidum, were found to have antitumor activity. The antitumor effect of the mycelial extracts from all 3 fungal species was ascertained in vivo in rats with implanted kidney cancer. Dystrophic changes in tumor cells and tumor necrosis (up to 90%) were noted. In vitro cytotoxicity studies of the A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cell line and HEp-2 human laryngeal epidermoid carcinoma cells showed that the extracts from the G. lucidum fruiting bodies and from the L. edodes vegetative mycelium were the most effective. The animals' immune systems were activated, and the fungal extracts displayed no toxicity when administered orally.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / analysis*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity
  • Cell Extracts / chemistry*
  • Cell Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / chemistry
  • Grifola / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Mycelium / chemistry
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Rats
  • Reishi / chemistry*
  • Shiitake Mushrooms / chemistry*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cell Extracts