Prof. Fuad Fares: Cancer Program: Natural Mushroom for Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Project name: Medicinal mushroom extract for treatment of pancreatic cancer 

Principal researcher name: Prof. Fuad Fares and Dr. Lital Sharvit

Invention area: Natural Science

Background: Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest of all solid malignancies. It has the worst prognosis of all, with a 6% 5-year survival rate. The majority of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first year of diag¬nosis. The current chemotherapy treatment either alone or in combination with radiation has been proven to improve pro¬gression-free and overall survival by less than a year.
Natural products represent the most important source of drugs and drug leads in history. Mushrooms comprise a vast and yet largely unexploited source for powerful new compounds. Mushrooms contain a variety of secondary metabolites with antitumor properties.

Results:Results indicate that treatment of human pancreatic cancer cells with the extract significantly decreased cell viability and that this inhibition of growth is due to induction of apoptosis; distinct activation of caspase-8 and -9 demonstrates the involvement of both the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways and it is most likely that there is cross talk between these two pathways. In vivo results confirm the in vitro findings, a significant tumor growth inhibition with no adverse effect in treated mice as seen by body weight, liver and kidney functions.
All of the above indicate a safe and effective value of the extract in inhibition of pancreatic cancer tumors progression.

Advantageous: The current treatment modalities are not satisfactory as patients show a poor response to the therapy; therefore, New drug for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is needed.
This potent mushroom extract contains bio-active materials with profound anti-cancer properties. Isolation identification and synthesis of the active material/s can lead to the development of novel effective treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Usage: Based on the results obtained so far further analysis of this extract can lead to the development of a novel treatment for pancreatic cancer.


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