Antitumor Properties of Ganoderma lucidum Polysaccharides and Terpenoids

Marcela R Camargo, Ramon Kaneno


Ganoderma lucidum is an edible medicinal mushroom with immunomodulatory and antitumor properties, which are mainly attributed to polysaccharides and triterpenes that can be isolated from mycelia, fruiting bodies and spores. G. lucidum has been used in a powdered form, as a medicinal beverage and a nutraceutical food (usually dried). In the present review we report some historical facts and the experimental evidence that polysaccharides and triterpenes obtained from this mushroom present potential antitumor activity. Direct effects on tumor cells include induction of apoptosis and interference in the cell cycle, whereas indirect effects are based on the modulation of immune response, usually impaired by cancer cells. Data indicate that G. lucidum can be used as a complementary tool for treatment of cancer patients.

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