A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Mushrooms Bookmark and Share

Mushrooms may need more might for the cancer fight

Can white button mushrooms stop prostate cancer recurrence? In a recent clinical trial at City of Hope, two patients experienced tremendous success with tablets made from concentrated white button mushrooms. Watch this story unfold.


Behold the formidable fungus.     

 

Not quite plant and not quite animal, it grows in out-of-the-way spots, avoiding attention. But if new studies at City of Hope bear fruit, the white button mushroom may enter the spotlight.

 

City of Hope scientists are on their way toward incorporating mushrooms in a cancer-fighting strategy.

 

Over the last decade, City of Hope researchers identified and tested cancer-inhibiting compounds in the common supermarket mushroom. Their work has moved into clinical trials at City of Hope, including one that tested whether consuming mushroom extract could stave off breast cancer recurrence in postmenopausal patients.

 

Early findings from that study showed that the doses of mushroom extract that were tested blocked activity of an enzyme important to breast cancer, but not at levels likely to deter the disease. The work encourages scientists to hone their potential strategy for prevention.

 

“Future studies should focus on more highly concentrated preparations of mushroom extract,” said Melanie Palomares, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of medical oncology and director of the High Risk Breast Program, who presented the results at the meeting.

 

In earlier work, Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., chair and professor of City of Hope’s Department of Cancer Biology, found that phytochemicals — naturally occurring plant chemicals — in mushrooms can block the activity of the enzyme called aromatase.

 

Aromatase helps the body produce the hormone estrogen, which many breast cancers need to grow. Blocking the enzyme chokes off the supply of estrogen to tumor cells, stunting their growth. Several drugs that block aromatase are already part of medicine’s arsenal against breast cancer.

 

Mushrooms’ natural aromatase-inhibiting properties might offer a dietary, non-drug intervention to help prevent recurrence of hormone-dependent breast cancers, according to the researchers.

 

The current study, which aimed to find an effective dose of mushroom extract, centered on postmenopausal breast cancer survivors who were cancer-free after they finished their treatment.

 

Women in the study took white button mushroom extract daily for 12 weeks. They were divided into groups that received either 5-, 8-, 10- or 13-gram doses. The researchers checked patients’ responses by measuring blood levels of estradiol, a close chemical relative of estrogen. Women whose estradiol level dropped by 50 percent or more were deemed to have responded to the intervention.

 

Patients tolerated the extract well, but the estradiol level failed to drop by 50 percent or more in any group. The researchers did see evidence of modest aromatase inhibition that lasted as long as six hours at the highest dose level. The result suggested that eating mushrooms can weakly inhibit aromatase in patients, but much higher amounts likely are necessary for a clinically significant result.

 

“Over the course of 12 weeks, we were able to observe phytochemical activity, but not at high enough concentrations to significantly reduce circulating estrogen levels in our patients,” Palomares said. In addition to trying higher concentrations of mushroom extract in future studies, the scientists also may change the way they measure estrogens in the body. “The local estrogen level in the breast is likely more significant clinically than what circulates in the bloodstream.”

 

Mushrooms

Mushrooms may need more might for the cancer fight

Can white button mushrooms stop prostate cancer recurrence? In a recent clinical trial at City of Hope, two patients experienced tremendous success with tablets made from concentrated white button mushrooms. Watch this story unfold.


Behold the formidable fungus.     

 

Not quite plant and not quite animal, it grows in out-of-the-way spots, avoiding attention. But if new studies at City of Hope bear fruit, the white button mushroom may enter the spotlight.

 

City of Hope scientists are on their way toward incorporating mushrooms in a cancer-fighting strategy.

 

Over the last decade, City of Hope researchers identified and tested cancer-inhibiting compounds in the common supermarket mushroom. Their work has moved into clinical trials at City of Hope, including one that tested whether consuming mushroom extract could stave off breast cancer recurrence in postmenopausal patients.

 

Early findings from that study showed that the doses of mushroom extract that were tested blocked activity of an enzyme important to breast cancer, but not at levels likely to deter the disease. The work encourages scientists to hone their potential strategy for prevention.

 

“Future studies should focus on more highly concentrated preparations of mushroom extract,” said Melanie Palomares, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of medical oncology and director of the High Risk Breast Program, who presented the results at the meeting.

 

In earlier work, Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., chair and professor of City of Hope’s Department of Cancer Biology, found that phytochemicals — naturally occurring plant chemicals — in mushrooms can block the activity of the enzyme called aromatase.

 

Aromatase helps the body produce the hormone estrogen, which many breast cancers need to grow. Blocking the enzyme chokes off the supply of estrogen to tumor cells, stunting their growth. Several drugs that block aromatase are already part of medicine’s arsenal against breast cancer.

 

Mushrooms’ natural aromatase-inhibiting properties might offer a dietary, non-drug intervention to help prevent recurrence of hormone-dependent breast cancers, according to the researchers.

 

The current study, which aimed to find an effective dose of mushroom extract, centered on postmenopausal breast cancer survivors who were cancer-free after they finished their treatment.

 

Women in the study took white button mushroom extract daily for 12 weeks. They were divided into groups that received either 5-, 8-, 10- or 13-gram doses. The researchers checked patients’ responses by measuring blood levels of estradiol, a close chemical relative of estrogen. Women whose estradiol level dropped by 50 percent or more were deemed to have responded to the intervention.

 

Patients tolerated the extract well, but the estradiol level failed to drop by 50 percent or more in any group. The researchers did see evidence of modest aromatase inhibition that lasted as long as six hours at the highest dose level. The result suggested that eating mushrooms can weakly inhibit aromatase in patients, but much higher amounts likely are necessary for a clinically significant result.

 

“Over the course of 12 weeks, we were able to observe phytochemical activity, but not at high enough concentrations to significantly reduce circulating estrogen levels in our patients,” Palomares said. In addition to trying higher concentrations of mushroom extract in future studies, the scientists also may change the way they measure estrogens in the body. “The local estrogen level in the breast is likely more significant clinically than what circulates in the bloodstream.”

 
City of Hope combines compassionate care with the best and most innovative science. Our 100+ acre campus is designed to meet the full range of needs of our patients and families. This guide is designed to help you take advantage of all that is offered at City of Hope - Duarte.
To make an appointment for yourself, a family member or a friend, please complete and submit our Become a Patient Request Form, or call City of Hope at
800-826-HOPE (4673).
Contact Us
Phone: (800) 826-HOPE (4673)
 
Hours: M – F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST)
 
Calls received after 5 p.m. will be returned the next business day.
Patient Care Overview

Info for Referring Physicians
City of hope welcomes patient referrals from physicians throughout the world. City of Hope is located near northeast Los Angeles, in Duarte, California.



NEWS & UPDATES
  • On Jan. 1, 2015, six City of Hope patients who have journeyed through cancer will welcome the new year with their loved ones atop City of Hope’s Tournament of Roses Parade float. The theme of the float is “Made Possible by HOPE.” The theme of the parade is “Inspiring Stories.” Repr...
  • When 25-year-old Angelina Mattos was diagnosed with Stage 4 oral cancer earlier this year, she learned that her only hope of survival was through the removal of her tongue, a surgery that leaves people without the ability to talk or eat normally, sometimes permanently ending their ability to speak. After hearin...
  • Two years ago, Joselyn Miller and her family sat together as stem cells from her brother’s bone marrow were infused into her – a precious gift of life that the family is excited to have the chance to pass to another patient in need. Today, the stem cell recipient is healthy. Her 23-year-old son Rex, who […...
  • Even as the overall rate of oral cancers in the United States steadily declines, the rate of tongue cancer is increasing — especially among white females ages 18 to 44. An oral cancer diagnosis, although rare, is serious. Only half of the people diagnosed with oral cancer are still alive after five years, accor...
  • Sometimes cancer found in the lungs is not lung cancer at all. It can be another type of cancer that originated elsewhere in the body and spread, or metastasized, to the lungs through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. These tumors are called lung metastases, or metastatic cancer to the lungs, and are not the...
  • When it comes to research into the treatment of hematologic cancers, City of Hope scientists stand out. One study that  they presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology suggests a new standard of care for HIV-associated lymphoma, another offers promise for the treatment of re...
  • Patients with HIV-associated lymphoma may soon have increased access to the current standard of care for some non-HIV infected patients – autologous stem cell transplants. Impressive new data, presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in San Francisco, indicate that HIV-...
  • On Jan. 1, 2015, six City of Hope patients who have journeyed through cancer will welcome the new year with their loved ones atop City of Hope’s Tournament of Roses Parade float. The theme of the float is “Made Possible by HOPE.” The theme of the Rose Parade is “Inspiring Stories.”...
  • The holidays can create an overwhelming urge to give to people in need — especially to sick children and families spending the holidays in a hospital room. That’s a good thing. Holiday donations of toys and gifts can bolster the spirits, and improve the lives, of people affected by illness, and hospitals ...
  • On Jan. 1, 2015, six City of Hope patients who have journeyed through cancer will welcome the new year with their loved ones atop City of Hope’s Tournament of Roses Parade float. The theme of the float is “Made Possible by HOPE.” The theme of the parade is “Inspiring Stories.” Here...
  • Cancer has a way of “talking” to the immune system and corrupting it to work on its own behalf instead of defending the body. Blocking this communication would allow the immune system to see cancer cells for what they are – something to be fought off – and stop them from growing. A breakthrough Scientists [R...
  • On Jan. 1, 2015, six City of Hope patients who have journeyed through cancer will welcome the new year with their loved ones atop City of Hope’s Tournament of Roses Parade float. The theme of the float is “Made Possible by HOPE.” The theme of the parade is “Inspiring Stories.” By V...
  • On Jan. 1, 2015, six City of Hope patients who have journeyed through cancer will welcome the new year with their loved ones atop City of Hope’s Tournament of Roses Parade float. The theme of the float is “Made Possible by HOPE.” The theme of the parade is “Inspiring Stories.” The ...
  • On Jan. 1, 2015, six City of Hope patients who have journeyed through cancer will welcome the new year with their loved ones atop City of Hope’s Tournament of Roses Parade float. The theme of the float is “Made Possible by HOPE.” The theme of the parade is “Inspiring Stories.” In 2...
  • You’ve done the easy stuff – braved the toy store and the Black Friday frenzy, stayed up all night trolling deals online, picked up gift cards for your colleagues at work. There’s just one gift left, the one you’ve been putting off and the one that means so much. What do you give your friend who […]