Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women. A key factor in tumour development is evasion of immune detection therefore, the search for alternative medicines with reduced toxicity towards normal tissues as well as ability to improve function of immune system and targets tumours cells has received growing interest. Ganoderma lucidum (GL) have been demonstrated to possess anti-tumour and immunomodulatory activities. Little is known about effects immunomodulatory effect of GL on BC patients when used with chemotherapeutic agents. We aim to investigate the level of immune biomarkers; interferon-γ (IF-γ), tumour necrotic factor-α (TNF-α), inteleukin-8 (IL-8) and adiponectin in these patients.
Forty female patients with BC were included and divided equally to two groups, group 1 received chemotherapy alone and group 2 received chemotherapy and GL capsules (1000 mg twice daily). Blood samples were obtained from all patients before and after 4 cycles of chemotherapy. These samples were analysed to identify the levels of IF-γ, TNF-α, IL-8 and adiponectin.
After the treatment period, there was significant increase of IF-γ (P = 0.0024) and significant decrease in the mean serum levels of TNF-α (P = 0.0004) and non-significant increase in IL-8 (P = 0.019) in patients treated with concurrent GL and chemotherapy. A non-significant difference was found between pre and post treatment in the mean serum levels of TNF-α, IF-γ, and IL-8 in patients received chemotherapy only. The mean serum levels of adiponectin after receiving chemotherapy only or with GL did not show any significant difference when compared to pre-treatment levels.
Compared to BC patients treated with chemotherapy alone, patients treated with GL and chemotherapy showed significant increase of IF-γ (a marker for immune stimulation effect) and significant decrease in the levels of TNF-α (a marker for anti-inflammation).
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Hawler Medical University/College of Pharmacy
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.