Alternative cancer treatment with nutritional/dietary supplements containing a wide variety of herbal products is on the rise in Western countries. Recent epidemiological studies have suggested that mushrooms may prevent against different types of cancers. <i>Phellinus linteus</i> is a well-known Oriental medicinal fungus with a variety of biological activities, including immunomodulatory or direct antitumor activities. The activity of <i>P. linteus</i> and its extracts is associated with the presence of polysaccharides, their peptide/protein complexes and other low molecular weight complexes. Polysaccharide fractions isolated from <i>P. linteus</i> were found to be related to the increased activity of immune cells such as the production of cytokines by macrophages and B-cells or the increased cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells. Moreover, <i>P. linteus</i> was found to modulate the expression or activity of various genes involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, invasive behavior and chemoprevention. Finally, <i>P. linteus</i> extracts demonstrated tumor regression in three independent case reports, suggesting that an extract from <i>P. linteus</i> or a dietary supplement based on the extract from <i>P. linteus</i> may have potential use for the alternative treatment of cancer.
Sliva, D. (2010). “Medicinal mushroom Phellinus linteus as an alternative cancer therapy (Review).” Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine(1): 407-411.