A tumour is a mass of tissue formed by an accumulation of abnormal cells. Normally, the cells in our body age, die and are replaced by new cells. But cancer and other tumors disrupt this cycle. Tumor cells grow, even though the body does not need them, and the problem is that, unlike normal old cells, they don't die.
In recent years, Cordyceps have proved the potential to slow the growth of tumors owing to their anti- tumor effects in several ways.
Tests on mice have also shown that Cordyceps have anti-tumor effects on lymphoma, melanoma and lung cancer.
Proposed mechanism of action:
Cordyceps functions by reversing the side effects associated with many forms of cancer therapy, one of its side effects are leukopenia a condition in which the number of white blood cells (leukocytes) decreases, weakening the body’s defence system and increasing the risk of infection.
One study tested the effects of Cordyceps on mice that developed leukopenia after radiation and it was found to reverse leukopenia which suggests the fungi may help reduce complications associated with some cancer treatments.
It is now a tested fact that Cordyceps has been shown to inhibit the growth of many types of human cancer cells, including lung, colon, skin and liver cancers.
After animals, it was tested in human participants who had specific diseases such as a malignant tumor, lung disease, leukaemia, collagenosis, multiple sclerosis, allergic skin disease, and other autoimmune disorders at that time or in their history.
How was the test conducted?
Before the start of the human study and after eight weeks of participation the efficacy evaluation and safety parameters were analyzed.
The fasting blood samples of all subjects were collected and centrifuged (Hanil Science Industrial Co., Ltd. Seoul, Korea) at 3000 rpm for 20 min the participants having kept an empty stomach for more than 12 h from the day before the blood collection, and they were kept frozen at − 80 °C until the analysis. The blood samples were analyzed using a Hitachi 7600–110 analyzer (Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, Tokyo, Japan).
The primary outcome of the clinical trial measured the changes in natural killer cell activity and the secondary outcome measured cytokines (IFN-γ and TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, and IL-12). Safety parameters were assessed through measuring an electrocardiogram (ECG) as well as laboratory tests (WBCs, RBCs, haemoglobin, hematocrit, platelets, total bilirubin, γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT), ALT, AST, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), TC, TG, LDL-C, HDL-C, fasting blood glucose, total protein, albumin, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, Na, K, Cl, Ca, and P).