[#2012-02] Chemotherapeutic Drugs or Vitamin C and D-Fraction, Sensuke Konno et al.

Chemotherapeutic Drugs or Vitamin C and D-Fraction

by Sensuke Konno, Bobby Alexander, and Muhammad Choudhury

Department of Urology, New York Medical College


To improve the efficacy of chemotherapy, we have been exploring combination therapies using chemotherapeutic drugs and natural agents extracted from herbs, plants, mushrooms, seeds, fruits, and so on. Among them, we were particularly interested in D-fraction (DF), a bioactive extract from maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa). This DF is the protein-bound polysaccharide or proteoglucan, consisting of a bioactive component known as β-glucan.  DF has been commercially available for a variety of medical and scientific studies, and numerous studies have shown its immunomodulatory and antitumor activities in an animal model. In addition, the antiviral effect of DF was demonstrated on hepatitis B and also confirmed on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/ AIDS in anti-HIV drug screening tests conducted by the US National Cancer Institute in 1992. Thus, DF appears to be an interesting and promising natural agent that deserves further study, particularly on its antitumor activity.