Glucans and Cancer: Comparison of Commercially Available β-glucans - Part IV

Anticancer Res. 2018 Mar;38(3):1327-1333. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.12355.


Background/aim: β-Glucans are well-established immunomodulators with strong effects across all immune reactions. Due to the extensive amount of studies, glucans are steadily progressing from a non-specific immunomodulator to a licensed drug. However, direct comparisons of higher numbers of different glucans are rare.

Materials and methods: In this study, we used 16 different glucans isolated from yeasts, mushroom, algae, and oat and compared their effects on phagocytosis, IL-2 production, antibody secretion, and inhibition of three experimental cancer models.

Results: Our results showed significant differences among tested glucans, showing that despite the fact that glucans in general have strong stimulating effects on most aspects of the immune system, it is necessary to choose the right glucan.

Conclusion: Based on our studies, we can conclude that highly purified and active glucans have significant pleiotropic effects.

Keywords: Glucan; IL-2; cancer; mushroom; phagocytosis; yeasts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects
  • Avena / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Lewis Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Lewis Lung / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / drug effects
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Yeasts / chemistry
  • beta-Glucans / isolation & purification
  • beta-Glucans / pharmacology*


  • Interleukin-2
  • beta-Glucans