Maitake mushroom extract in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS): a phase II study

Kathleen M. Wesa, Susanna Cunningham-Rundles, Virginia M. Klimek, Emily Vertosick, Marci I. Coleton, K. Simon Yeung, Hong Lin, Stephen Nimer, Barrie R. Cassileth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are characterized by ineffective erythropoiesis with dysplastic bone marrow leading to peripheral cytopenia, risk of infection, and progression to acute myelogenous leukemia. Maitake mushroom beta-glucan, a dietary supplement, stimulates hematopoietic progenitor cell differentiation, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor production, and recovery of peripheral blood leukocytes after bone marrow injury. This phase II trial examined the effects of Maitake on innate immune function in MDS.

Methods: Myelodysplastic syndromes patients with International Prognostic Scoring System Low- and Intermediate-1-risk disease received oral Maitake extract at 3 mg/kg twice daily for 12 weeks. Primary endpoints included neutrophil count and function tested as endogenous or stimulated neutrophil production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by flow cytometry compared with age-matched healthy controls (HC). ROS activators were Escherichiacoli, phorbol ester, and the bacterial peptide N-formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP). Complete blood counts, chemistry panels, iron studies, and monocyte function were evaluated.

Results: Of 21 patients enrolled, 18 completed the study and were evaluable. Maitake increased endogenous (basal) neutrophil (p = 0.005) and monocyte function (p = 0.021). Pre-treatment monocyte response to E. coli was reduced in MDS patients compared with HC (p = 0.002) and increased (p = 0.0004) after treatment. fMLP-stimulated ROS production response also increased (p = 0.03). Asymptomatic eosinophilia occurred in 4 patients (p = 0.014). Other changes in albumin, hemoglobin, and total protein were not clinically relevant.

Conclusions: Maitake was well tolerated. Enhanced in vitro neutrophil and monocyte function following treatment demonstrate that Maitake has beneficial immunomodulatory potential in MDS. Further study is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Beta-glucan
  • Infections
  • Maitake
  • Monocyte
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Neutrophil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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