Beta-glucans in cancer therapy

Combined β-glucan with anti-tumor mAb therapy has demonstrated therapeutic efficacy in murine tumor models. The current study was designed to compare the therapeutic efficacy of various sources of β-glucans. Our studies demonstrated that yeast β-glucan, in combination with anti-tumor mAb, resulted in significantly smaller tumor burdens and achieved enhanced long-term survival compared to mAb alone or β-glucan extracts from mushrooms.

Further studies indicated that yeast β-glucan particle was superior to mushroom extracts in inducing cytokine secretion, particularly IL-12 production in dendritic cells (DCs). In addition, results showed that cytokine production was markedly decreased in MyD88-deficient macrophages and DCs but not in complement receptor 3 (CR3)-deficient mice. Our data suggest that yeast β-glucan demonstrates much stronger adjuvant activity compared to mushroom β-glucan extracts in tumor therapy.

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