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Hepatogastroenterology. 2009 Mar-Apr;56(90):437-41.

Clinical efficacy of superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan.



Recently, complementary alternative medicine is actively performed for cancer therapy. We investigated the effectiveness of supplementary food containing superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan) in patients with unresectable or recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma in a multi-center study.


Peripheral blood was collected prior to the test food ingestion and was incubated with fluorescein-labeled lentinan. The rates of lentinan-binding CD14+ monocytes were determined by flow cytometry. Patient survival times were followed up for 3 years.


Thirty-six patients were eligible among 40 enrolled patients. Median survival time of eligible patients was 13.6 months (95% confidence interval, 8.7-18.9 months). Survival times of patients who ingested test food for a mean period of 47 weeks (range, 26 to 145 weeks) were significantly longer than that of patients who ingested for 7 to 12 weeks (p < 0.05). The rates of lentinan-binding cells in CD14+ monocytes showed individual variations (0.1-19.7%; Median, 1.6%). Survival times (median survival time, 16.3 months) of lentinan-high-binding group were significantly longer than those (median survival time, 12.5 months) of lentinan-low-binding group (p < 0.05).


A superfine dispersed lentinan-containing supplementary food is effective for hepatocellular carcinoma patients' survival. Long-time ingestion is preferable. Assessment of lentinan-binding CD14+ monocytes is a promising prognostic predictor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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