Ganoderma sinense polysaccharide: An adjunctive drug used for cancer treatment.

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This review focuses on Ganoderma sinense, a type of fungus that is common in Chinese herbal medicine, as a potential companion treatment with conventional treatment for side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Ganoderma sinense contains a special kind of sugar called GSP. A component of GSP containing Beta glucan is known to have immunostimulating properties. Chinese based scientific literature was reviewed for basic science and preclinical studies on this topic. These studies showed that GSP has potential antitumor and antioxidant properties. This overview provides in depth information regarding the potential role of GSP as a drug to support the immune system’s function during cancer therapy.

Abstract

Ganoderma sinense is one of well-known herb medicine and has been used for 2000 years in China. G. lucidum and G. sinense are two family members of Ganoderma, a genus of polypore fungi. In Chinese, “Lingzhi” is designated as G. lucidum or red “Lingzhi” whereas “Zizhi” as G. sinense or purple “Lingzhi.” The polysaccharides or glycans extracted from both G. lucidum and G. sinense have been developed into clinical drugs and recorded in Chinese Pharmacopeia. G. lucidum polysaccharide (GLPS) is one of a few non-hormonal drugs used for treating neurosis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, atrophic myotonia and muscular dystrophy in China during the past 40 years. In contrast, G. sinense polysaccharide (GSP) tablet is approved as an adjunctive therapeutic drug in China for treating leukopenia and hematopoietic injury caused by concurrent chemo/radiation therapy during cancer treatment by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) in 2010. β-glucan, an established immunostimulanting polysaccharide, is one of the components in GSP. In this study, we will review the biological activities and preclinical studies of GSP in China based on literatures searches from CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure), VIP (Chongqing VIP Chinese Scientific Journals Database), Wanfang database, and PubMed database. Both basic and preclinical studies showed that GSP has antitumor, antioxidant, anticytopenia, and unique mushroom-poison detoxification properties that are different from that of GLPS. Our goal is to provide a molecular picture that would allow in-depth evaluation of GSP as one of few glycan-based drugs that has been used as an immunomodulatory adjunctive drug during cancer therapy.

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