30th December 2009

Chinese ‘herbal’ mushroom Cordyceps fights Cancer

Scientists have discovered how a possible anti-cancer drug, earlier (1950) discovered in a wild asian mushroom, Cordyceps, works.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham believe their work could help make the drug more effective, and useful for treating a wider range of cancers.

Cordyceps parasitic mushroom on a catapillar pupa. cordyceps fights cancer.

Cordyceps parasitic mushroom on a catapillar pupa.

The extracted active ingredient named Cordycepin, commonly used in Chinese medicine, degrades rapidly in the human body, it has been given with another drug to combat this – but the second drug can produce side effects that limit its potential use.

As a result, the researchers turned their interest to other potential candidate drugs, and a study to understand how cordycepin works on the body’s cells.

It could lay the groundwork for the design of new cancer drugs that work on the same principle

“It will be possible to predict what types of cancers might be sensitive and what other cancer drugs it may effectively combine with.

“It could also lay the groundwork for the design of new cancer drugs that work on the same principle.”

The researchers have also developed a method to test how effective the drug is in new preparations, and combinations with other drugs, which might solve the problem of degradation more satisfactorily.

Dr De Moor said: “This is a great advantage as it will allow us to rule out any non-runners before anyone considers testing them in animals.”

The researchers have also developed a method to test how effective the drug is in new preparations, and combinations with other drugs, which might solve the problem of degradation more satisfactorily.

Dr De Moor said: “This is a great advantage as it will allow us to rule out any non-runners before anyone considers testing them in animals.”

The Nottingham team observed two effects on the cells – at a low dose cordycepin inhibits the uncontrolled growth and division of the cells, and at high doses it stops cells from sticking together, which also inhibits growth.

Both of these effects probably have the same underlying mechanism – that cordycepin interferes with how cells make proteins.

At low doses cordycepin interferes with the production of mRNA, the molecule that gives instructions on how to assemble a protein.

And at higher doses it has a direct impact on the making of proteins.

Professor Janet Allen is director of research at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which funded the study.

She said: “This project shows that we can always return to asking questions about the fundamental biology of something in order to refine the solution or resolve unanswered questions. The knowledge generated by this research demonstrates the mechanisms of drug action and could have an impact on one of the most important challenges to health

Professor Janet Allen
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

“The knowledge generated by this research demonstrates the mechanisms of drug action and could have an impact on one of the most important challenges to health.”

Yet again, the Healing Powers of the flora & fauna in the world around us comes to light for all to see. Chinese herbalists believed centuries ago that cordyceps fights cancer.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 at 10:57 am and is filed under Fungi/Mushroom Healing, Healing News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.