Extracts of Phellinus linteus, Bamboo (Sasa senanensis) Leaf and Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) Exhibit Antitumor Activity through Activating Innate Immunity

Nutrients. 2020 Jul 29;12(8):2279. doi: 10.3390/nu12082279.


Natural products have attracted great interest for some time as alternative methods against cancers by fulfilling immunomodulating properties. In this study, we investigated the activity of hot water extracts (120 °C, >30 min) of Phellinus linteus, fresh leaves of Kumaizasa bamboo and Chaga mushroom which we called MeshimaMax, for cancer prevention and treatment by using different solid tumor models. In the implanted mouse sarcoma S180 tumor, MeshimaMax treatment significantly inhibited tumor growth when it was applied at the early stage of tumor inoculation. The effect was further confirmed by using carcinogen induced tumors, i.e., azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) induced mouse colon cancer and 7,12-dimethylbenz anthracene (DMBA) induced rat breast cancer. In both cases the occurrences of tumors were remarkably suppressed by administration of MeshimaMax which consists of three components above. More importantly, when MeshimaMax was combined with an anticancer chemotherapeutic drug, the therapeutic effect was remarkably improved. In vitro studies showed that when MeshimaMax was applied to mouse macrophage RAW264.7 cells the phagocytosis of macrophages was significantly activated, which was evaluated by using living yeast cells as well as synthetic nanoparticles. A cytotoxicity assay showed the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) was higher than 1 mg/mL and normal cells were 2-3 times more tolerant to MeshimaMax than cancer cells. These findings suggest the potential application of MeshimaMax for cancer prevention and as supplement regimen for anticancer chemotherapy, probably functioning through activation of innate immunity, which may benefit cancer patients as an alternative supplement.

Keywords: Chaga mushroom; Kumaizasa; Phellinus linteus; bamboo leaf; cancer prevention; immunostimulation; innate immunity; macrophage; supplement.

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology*
  • Azoxymethane
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colonic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects*
  • Inonotus*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Phellinus*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Rats
  • Sarcoma 180 / drug therapy
  • Sasa*


  • Phellinus linteus extract
  • Plant Extracts
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Azoxymethane

Supplementary concepts

  • Inonotus obliquus