Cancer without pharmacological illusions and a niche for mycotherapy (Review)

Ivan V. Zmitrovich, Nina V. Belova, Mikhail E. Balandaykin, Margarita A. Bondartseva, Solomon P. Wasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this review we outline a framework in which mycotherapy is effective in the field of oncology. We suppose that irreversible epigenomic changes in cancer cells and achieving their replicative immortality when cancer-specific targets are absent should take away any illusions about a fundamental possibility of pharmacological blockage of the cancer process once ontogenesis begins. At the same time, however, we believe that effects of both traditional and alternative medicines on cancer clonogenic units within a particular range can lead to prolonged remission; with this in mind, we carefully consider the various possibilities of mycotherapy in controlling cancer activity. The aforementioned range is limited to nondisseminated cancer processes and depends on the absence of large secondary tumor nodes and the inexhaustibility of immune depots after chemotherapeutic treatment. The main therapeutic effect of fungal bioactive complexes is dectin-1-mediated immunity, including the reprogramming of dendritic cells, which significantly increases the period during which tumors generate immune tolerance. An inhibitory effect of fungal bioactive complexes on some molecular mediators of proliferative signaling and components of proinflammatory (synergistic with cancer) immunity can be considered less significant. The effect of fungal bioactive complexes on vital (including overexpressed) targets of cancer cells is even more limited. The results of this study stress that mycotherapy is only one of the tools that can be used to balance remission. Palliative mycotherapy is associated with polyphenols composites, which contribute to detoxification and to the suppression of inflammation and pain sensation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Begell House, Inc.


  • Cancer hallmarks
  • Immune tolerance
  • Immunotherapy
  • Medicinal mushrooms
  • Targeted cancer therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


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