Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) is a medicinal mushroom which is called Lingzhi in China, where it has been used as medicine for thousands of years. The most common preparations are extracts of the fruiting bodies and the spores, and the most important contents are polysaccharides and triterpenoids. Lingzhi has been reported to be anticancer in previous research.
Few studies have reported experiences using reishi to treat gynecologic cancers. This article is a report on 5 patients who had a good response to reishi with their ovarian cancers as salvage* treatment after chemotherapy failed twice. These patients were from a larger study of Lingzhi, but they are reported here because of their outstanding responses to the therapy. The dose was 1800 mg three times a day for 12 weeks.
The 5 patients all had ovarian cancer, and one had ovarian and endometrial cancer. All had cancer progression after two courses of chemotherapy. They were all treated with Lingzhi for 12 weeks on water extracts of the fruiting body and spores and all became stabilized. Only one had a dramatic improvement in her immune response. Several of the patients have had no progression of their cancers for the past 3 years.
Lingzhi is not suggested as a first line of defense against cancer for long-term survival. However, it has been found to be beneficial in conjunction with standard chemotherapy. No toxicity was seen in this study, but a previous study reported a fatal case of hepatitis after taking powdered Lingzhi for two months.
CONCLUSION: Five women were presented who received chemotherapy for ovarian cancer followed by disease progression. They all achieved stability without progression after taking powdered extract of the fruiting body and spores of Lingzhi.
NOTE: *Salvage treatment in this article refers to treatment to try to improve the patient after one or more rounds of chemotherapy failed.
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Suprasert, P., et al. Clinical Characteristics of Gynecologic Cancer Patients Who Respond to Salvage Treatment with Lingzhi. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(10):4193-6. Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.