A new study recently presented at the annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Meeting in Washington, D.C. has reported that an extract of maitake mushroom reduced human breast cancer cell viability in the laboratory. Maitake mushrooms have various bioactive components. However, D-fraction, a protein-bound polysaccharide compound, appears to be the most potent for enhancing the immune system when administered in pill or injection form. Previous studies have reported that the combination of maitake fraction with chemotherapy might result in increased potential to reduce the size of lung, liver, and breast tumors.

The authors cultured hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) MCF-7 cells, incubating them with increasing concentrations of liquid maitake D-fraction. The cells were evaluated for viability and for cell death (apoptosis). All of the experiments were performed in triplicate. Maitake-treated cells appeared to have higher apoptosis levels and poorer viability when compared to non-treated cells. The authors conclude that the results of the study could prompt the development of new therapeutic strategies against breast cancer based on maitake D-fraction.

Please see our article on how to optimize your breast cancer diet for information on what to eat during all stages of treatment and recovery.