Investigations into the anticancer activity
of Lingzhi have been performed in both in vitro and
in vivo studies, supporting its application for cancer
treatment and prevention. Anticancer activity of Lingzhi
has prompted its usage by cancer patients.
immune responses and mitogenic reactivity of cancer
patients have been enhanced by Lingzhi, as reported
in two randomized and one nonrandomized trials, and
the quality of life of 65% of lung cancer patients
In Japan, after daily injections
in mice with cancer it was reported that tumors in
50% of the animals had completely regressed within
10 days. (Ikekawa et al,1968; Japanese Journal of Cancer
Research; 59: 155-157)
The host-dependent anti-tumor activity has been subsequently
confirmed to be from the polysaccharide fractions of
Lingzhi by Sasaki et al.. 
Multiple similar studies subsequently confirms this
observation and anti-tumor efficacy of Lingzhi has been
demonstrated from various species, at different stages
of growth and using different solvents for extraction
and different routes of administration. Anti-tumor activity
has been demonstrated in vitro as well as in syngeneic
There has been research showing Lingzhi an effective supplement during chemotherapy or radiotherapy to reduce side-effects such as fatigue, loss of appetite, hair loss, bone marrow suppression and risk of infection. Lingzhi was shown effective against fatigue,  hair loss,  and bone marrow suppression.  There is similar clinical evidence for other glucan BRMs applied in the setting of cancer chemotherapy or radiotherapy lending further support to the supplementation of Lingzhi in combination with cytotoxic cancer therapies.
In an animal model, Lingzhi has been demonstrated to effectively prevent cancer metastasis .
Medicinal uses Lingzhi possess some anti-tumor, immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic activities, supported by some studies on polysaccharides, terpenes, and other bioactive compounds isolated from fruiting bodies and mycelia of this fungus .
The anti-tumoral effect of Lingzhi is not entirely known but it is probably due to a combination of different mechanisms: inhibition of the angiogenesis (formation of arterial vessels that give nutrients to the tumour) by mediating over the cytoquines, inducing and enhancing the apoptosis of tumoral cells (the natural and spontaneous cellular death). There are probably other mechanisms involved in the antitumoral action of Lingzhi such as its inhibitory effect over the growth of cells containing masculine or feminine hormonal receptors (androgens and estrogens), being this of particular interest when dealing with breast cancer or prostate cancer.
Other possible mechanism of action that could explain the antitumoral effect of Lingzhi such as a direct citotoxic effect on the tumoral cells has also been postulated. It has also been suggested that Lingzhi could act blocking and stopping the migration of the cancer cells and therefore delaying the presence of metastasis.
It seems that all these mechanisms could explain, at least in part, the positive effect of Lingzhi in breast -, prostate-, lung-, colon- and rectum cancer as well as in other forms [30-59].
The complex interaction of anti-cancerous substances in Lingzhi has been shown to suppress progression and invasiveness of metastatic breast cancers, according to a study done at the Cancer Research Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute, Indianapolis.
Lingzhi has been shown anticancer effect on cell proliferation as well as colony formation of breast cancer cells.
This effect was mediated by the down-regulation of expression of oncogene c-myc in breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 cells), i.e. desensitized genes that increase the malignancy of a tumor cell.
Israeli scientists claim that Lingzhi, used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, could treat prostate cancer, the University of Haifa said.
Researchers at the university in northern Israel said they found molecules in Lingzhi, which help suppress some mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer.
The compounds identified in Lingzhi were found help suppress some of the mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer. They disrupt the activity of androgen receptors and impede the proliferation of cancerous cells.
According to the researcher, prostate cancer - one of the most common cancers among men in the West - is controlled by the androgen receptor, especially in the initial stages of development of the disease. Therefore, all medications currently used to treat prostate cancer work to reduce the production of androgens or to interfere with their function via the androgen receptor.
“We already knew the mushroom could impede the development of cancer by affecting the immune system. The in-vitro trials we have done show that it attacks the cancer cells directly,” chief researcher Ben Zion Zaidman said.
Lingzhi effect on nasopharyngeal carcinoma:
Five patients with stage III nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) were given 6 capsules of lingzhi 3 times a day for 1 week before radio- and chemotherapy and continued for a course of 8 months while they were given a complete course of irradiation lasting for 6 weeks. The chemotherapy regimen consisting of cyclophosphomide, lomustine, dannorubicin and vincristine was administered every month for a period of 4 months. Objective response occurred in all the NPC patients with very significant tumor shrinkage after 40 days of treatment with lingzhi in concurrence with radio- and chemotherapy.
The tumors were completely regressed after 90 days of combined treatment and were in remission for the last three and a half years. It is conceivable that lingzhi plays an adjuvant role in combination with radio- and chemotherapy, thereby rendering the complete regression of the tumors. Since both polysaccharides' and organic germanium derived from lingzhi are not cytotoxic to tumor cells, the antitumor effect is attributable to induced immunopotentiation. As an immunopotentiator, lingzhi accelerates the production of interlukin-2 from helper T cells and potentiates the induction of different types of anti-tumor cells, such as NK cells and cytotoxic macrophages, in addition to the induction of interferon production. The patients felt more energetic, and had a better appetite and slept better.
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