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PLoS One. 2016 Dec 21;11(12):e0167754. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167754. eCollection 2016.

The Agaricus blazei-Based Mushroom Extract, Andosan™, Protects against Intestinal Tumorigenesis in the A/J Min/+ Mouse.

Author information

Department of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Chemicals and Radiation, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Acute Medicine & National CBRNE Medical and Advisory Centre-Norway, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Tumor Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital - The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, Oslo, Norway.



The novel A/J Min/+ mouse, which is a model for human Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), develops spontaneously multiple adenocarcinomas in the colon as well as in the small intestine. Agaricus blazei Murill (AbM) is an edible Basidiomycetes mushroom that has been used in traditional medicine against cancer and other diseases. The mushroom contains immunomodulating β-glucans and is shown to have antitumor effects in murine cancer models. Andosan™ is a water extract based on AbM (82%), but it also contains the medicinal Basidiomycetes mushrooms Hericeum erinaceus and Grifola frondosa.


Tap water with 10% Andosan™ was provided as the only drinking water for 15 or 22 weeks to A/J Min/+ mice and A/J wild-type mice (one single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) difference), which then were exsanguinated and their intestines preserved in formaldehyde and the serum frozen. The intestines were examined blindly by microscopy and also stained for the tumor-associated protease, legumain. Serum cytokines (pro- and anti-inflammatory, Th1-, Th2 -and Th17 type) were measured by Luminex multiplex analysis. Andosan™ treated A/J Min/+ mice had a significantly lower number of adenocarcinomas in the intestines, as well as a 60% significantly reduced intestinal tumor load (number of tumors x size) compared to control. There was also reduced legumain expression in intestines from Andosan™ treated animals. Moreover, Andosan™ had a significant cytotoxic effect correlating with apoptosis on the human cancer colon cell line, Caco-2, in vitro. When examining serum from both A/J Min/+ and wild type mice, there was a significant increase in anti-tumor Th1 type and pro-inflammatory cytokines in the Andosan™ treated mice.


The results from this mouse model for colorectal cancer shows significant protection of orally administered Andosan™ against development of intestinal cancer. This is supported by the finding of less legumain in intestines of Andosan™ treated mice and increased systemic Th1 cytokine response. The mechanism is probably both immuno-modulatory and growth inhibition of tumor cells by induction of apoptosis.

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Conflict of interest statement

Author GH has patent/patent applications and financial interests as shareholder in Immunopharma AS of Norway, commercializing material (AndoSan™) pertinent to this article: i) WO2005065063 A2, Appl. No.:10/585600, NO- and PCT-filed Jan 2004 and Jan 2005, respectively, by Inventor Hetland Geir, and ii) NO20090003383, Appl. No.: NO20090003383 20091119, by Inventor Hetland Geir filed by Applicant Immunopharma AS in Nov 2009. This does not alter the authors’ adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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