The edible mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill has evoked considerable scientific and general public interest because of its medicinal properties, foremost its anticancer activity. This has mainly been linked to the mushroom’s beta-glucans and glycoproteins but also to smaller molecules of which only a few (e.g. agaritine) have yet been identified. The antitumor effects include cancer-preventing activity, immune-enhancing activity (of the common anti-infection and anti-tumor defense system) and direct tumor inhibition activity. This has been documented both in Petri dishes – where immune cells and tumor cells have been cultivated and stimulated with extracts or fractions of Agaricus blazei – and in transplantable cancer-bearing mouse models and some human studies.
In 2004, when examining protective effect of different Agaricus blazei extracts from Japan blindly in a bacterial sepsis model in mice, AndoSan™ was found to be the only extract that significantly increased animal survival rate. AndoSan™ was therefore chosen for further investigation.
Dr. Hetland and others have since 2004 found that AndoSan™:
- upregulates “anti-tumor” genes in some patients studied,
- has no interference with metabolic systems which may cause dangerous drug interactions in cancer patients – and therefore makes such reactions unlikely,
- inhibits activity of the tumor-associated and metastasis-promoting enzyme, legumain,
- is safe as prolonged add-on treatment for multiple myeloma patients who experiences immunomodulatory effects and has a tendency to prolong the time before the next chemotherapy needed,
- is cytotoxic for myeloma cells, colon cancer and leukaemia cells, and
- protects against development of intestinal tumors in a mouse model for colon cancer. Moreover, it also has significant clinical effects in patients with ulcerative colitis, which is a condition that predisposes for colon cancer.