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Health News Archive 62 - Cancer and AHCC Research
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More info on AHCC.

Complete AHCC published research studies

Improved prognosis of postoperative liver cancer patients when treated with AHCC

Yoichi Matsui * , Junya Uhara, Sohei Satoi, Masaki Kaibori, Hitoshi Yamada, Hiroaki Kitade, Atsusi Imamura, Soichiro Takai, Yusai Kawaguchi, A.-Hon Kwon and Yasuo Kamiyama. Journal of Hepatology, vol. 37/1,pp 78-86, July 2002

First Department of Surgery, Kansai Medical University, 10-15 Fumizono, Moriguchi, Osaka 570-8507, Japan

Background/Aims: Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) is a newly developed functional food. In vitro experiments have shown that AHCC enhances natural killer cell activity, and may be considered a potent biological response modifier in the treatment of cancer patients. However, the effects of AHCC in a clinical setting have not been reported. We seek to determine whether AHCC can improve the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients following surgical treatment.

Methods: A prospective cohort study was performed from February 1, 1992 to December 31, 2001. A total of 269 consecutive patients with histologically confirmed HCC were studied. All of the patients underwent resection of a liver tumor. Time to treatment failure (disease recurrence or death) and ten parameters related to liver function after surgery were examined.

Results: Of the 269 patients, 113 received AHCC orally after undergoing curative surgery (AHCC group). The AHCC group had a significantly longer no recurrence period (hazard ratio (HR), 0.639; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.429-0.952; P=0.0277) and an increased overall survival rate (HR, 0.421; 95% CI, 0.253-0.701; P=0.0009) when compared to the control group by Cox's multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: This study suggests that AHCC intake can improve the prognosis of postoperative HCC patients.

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AHCC Improves Immunological Parameters And Performance Status of Patients with Solid Tumors

Katsuaki Uno*1, Kenichi Kosuna*2, Bxiang Sun*2, Hajimi Fujii*2, Koji Wakame*2, Shizuko Chikumaru*3, George Hosokawa*4, Yuji Ueda*3  Biotherapy 2000 14(3) 303-309, (Comfort Hospital)

Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC), a Phyto-polysaccharide extract, is known to show Biological Response Modifier (BRM)- like activity. Because Interleukin 12 (IL-12), interferon-y (IFN-y) negatively modulate tumor growth, we evaluated the possible effect of AHCC on the production of IL-12 and IFN-y as well as NK cell activity which also plays a critical role in cancer immunity.

38 patients with solid tumors were given AHCC orally for 6 months and blood was drawn every 2 months to verify the affects of AHCC on their immune function. Peripheral, blood lymphocytes (2x105, /200 •1) re-suspended in RPMI1640 with 10% FCS were stimulated with 20 •g/ml of Phytohemagglutinin (PHA) in microtiter plates for 24 hours at 37•C. Supernatant was collected for cytokine assay. IL-12 was measured by the enzyme linked immuno solvent assay (ELISA) kit (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN) and IFN-y was measured by the ELISA kit (Biosource, Nivelles, Belgium). For the assay of NK cell activity 51Cr-sodium chromate-labeled target cells (K-562; 1x104/l0 •1) were mixed with effector cells (1x106/200 •1) and incubated for 3.5 hours at 37ˇC. Supernatant fluid was collected and radioactivity was measured. Performance Status (PS) as an indicator of QOL was also evaluated before and after the intake of AHCC.

The basal levels of two cytokines and NK activity in patients with tumors were lower than those in normal control. Each of the three immunological parameters of patents increased to the normal levels after AHCC intake. These results demonstrate that AHCC improves both immunological abnormalities and clinical conditions.

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Immunomodulatory and AntiCancer Effects of AHCC

Ghoneum M., 1* Wimbley M., 2 Salem F., 3 McKlain A., 1 Attallah N., 2 Gill G.1.  Int. J. Immunotherapy X1(1) 23-28 (1995)

The effects of therapy with active hemicellulose compound (AHCC) were examined in 11 cancer patients. AHCC is a myecelic extract of basidiomycota originating from hybrid mushrooms. Significant anticancer activity by AHCC was observed with advanced malignancies in patients given 3 g of AHCC daily. The percentages of patients with complete remission were as follows: (i) prostatic, 213 (66%). PSA level <0.2; (ii) ovarian, 213 (66%). CA 125 < 35; (iii) multiple myeloma, _ (50%), BJP <5; (iv) breast, 1/3 complete remission and 2 partial. Two mechanisms by which AHCC exerts its effect were investigated. The first was natural killer (NK) immunomodulation.

Patients demonstrated a low base level of NK activity (18.8%), which was significantly enhanced by AHCC at 2 weeks (2.5 fold), and was maintained at a high level. The second was direct anticancer properties. In vitro studies showed that AHCC possesses suppressive effects on tumour cell growth. AHCC (1 mg/ml) cultured with K562 and Raji tumour cells caused 21% and 43% decrease in cell counts, respectively, as compared to control untreated cells. It is concluded that the high augmentory effect of AHCC and the absence of notable side-effects make AHCC a promising immunotherapeutic agent for the treatment of cancer patients.

  1. Department of Otolaryngology.
  2. Department of Surgery
  3. Department of Pathology, Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA 90059, USA

*Address for correspondence: Drew University of Medicine and Science, Department of Otolaryngology, 1621 East 120th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059 USA.

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NK-Immunomodulation by AHCC in 17 Cancer Patients

Mamdooh Ghoneum, Ph.D. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Los Angeles, Calif. USA, 2nd Meeting of the Society for Natural Immunity. Taormina, Italy May 1994

The present study was designed to examine the immunomodulatory function of active hemicellulose compound (AHCC). AHCC is an extract of Mycellia basidiomycota which was originated by hybridization of several types of mushrooms. Seventeen cancer patients with different advanced malignancies participated in the study: ovarian carcinoma (3), multiple myeloma (2), stomach (2), breast (5), lung (2), rhabdomyosarcoma (1), and prostate (2). Patients received AHCC 3 g/day orally for 2-6 months. NK cell activity was examined by 4-hour Cr release assay against sensitive K562 and resistant Raji tumor cells.

Results showed significant enhancement of NK activity against K562 as early as 2 weeks (2-to 3-fold of base-line). Activity was further increased at subsequent time periods up to 6 months post treatment with AHCC. NK activation was also detected against Raji cells but at later stages, i.e. 1-2 months (2- to 10-fold). AHCC appears to activate NK cells by increasing their binding capacity to tumor cell targets (2-fold), and also by increasing NK cell granularity as examined microscopically, in cytospin preparation, and biochemically. On the other hand, flow cytometry analysis showed no significant change in the percentage of NK cells (CD3-, CD16+/CD56+). We conclude that AHCC is a potent immunomodulator and may be useful in immunotherapy of cancer.

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