Monday, January 16, 2017

Dr. Nancy Santesso on Ganoderma lucidum for cancer treatment

Ganoderma lucidum is a natural medicine that is widely used and recommended by Asian physicians and naturopaths for its supporting effects on immune system. Laboratory research and a handful of preclinical trials have suggested that G. lucidum carries promising anticancer and immunomodulatory properties. The popularity of taking G. lucidum as an alternative medicine has been increasing in cancer patients. The review did not find sufficient evidence to justify the use of G. lucidum as a first-line treatment for cancer. It remains uncertain whether G. lucidum helps prolong long-term cancer survival. However, G. lucidum could be administered as an alternative adjunct to conventional treatment in consideration of its potential of enhancing tumour response and stimulating host immunity. G. lucidum was generally well tolerated by most participants with only a scattered number of minor adverse events. No major toxicity was observed across the studies. Although there were few reports of harmful effect of G. lucidum, the use of its extract should be judicious, especially after thorough consideration of cost-benefit and patient preference. Future studies should put emphasis on the improvement in methodological quality and further clinical research on the effect of G. lucidum on cancer long-term survival are needed. An update to this review will be performed every two years.