Mushroom used in Asia for medicinal purposes vanquished prostate tumour successfully in mice during early trials.
"Polysaccharopeptide (PSP), a compound extracted from the "turkey tail" mushroom, was found to target prostate cancer stem cells and suppress their formation in mice," says a new study conducted by senior research fellow Patrick Ling.
Ling, from the Institute for Biomedical Health and Innovation (IHBI) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) added that the results could be an important step towards fighting a disease that kills 3,000 Australian men a year, reports the journal Public Library of Science ONE.
"What we wanted to demonstrate was whether that compound could stop the development of prostate tumours in the first place," said Ling, according to a Queensland statement.
"In the past, other inhibitors tested in research trials have been shown to be up to 70 per cent effective, but we`re seeing 100 per cent of this tumour prevented from developing with PSP. Importantly, we did not see any side effects from the treatment."
Ling said, "Conventional therapies were only effective in targeting certain cancer cells, not cancer stem cells, which initiated cancer and caused the disease to progress."
During the research trial, in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong and Provital Pty Ltd, transgenic mice that developed prostate tumours were fed PSP for 20 weeks.
Ling said, "No tumours were found in any of the mice fed PSP, whereas mice not given the treatment developed prostate tumours". He said, "The research suggested that PSP treatment could completely inhibit prostate tumour formation."