HOUSTON—According to research coming out of the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) Medical School at Houston, a Japanese mushroom extract called active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) may have a role in preventing human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers.
According to the study, led by Dr. Judith A. Smith, treating cervical cancer cells with AHCC led to the eradication of HPV, as well as a decrease in the rate of tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, in research presented at the Society of Gynecological Oncology 45th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Tampa, Florida.
In the study, cervical cancer cells were treated with AHCC and incubated for 72 hours with sampling every 24 hours. The study was then repeated in two orthotopic mouse models, one HPV positive and the other an HPV-negative control. The HPV expression was eradicated with once-daily AHCC dosing for 90 days with the durable response after 30-day observation off treatment. Smith then repeated the study to confirm findings and added sampling for correlative testing of immune markers to determine the mechanism by which AHCC eradicates the HPV virus.
These data suggest AHCC can eliminate HPV infections and may have a role in the prevention of HPV-related cancers. A confirmatory pilot study in HPV+ women is underway at UTHealth Women’s Center.
“The results of this study were very encouraging,” said Smith, who is an associate professor at the UTHealth Medical School. “This study, initiated in 2008, shows that by itself AHCC has the potential to treat the HPV infection.” Smith’s previous study evaluated AHCC integration with common chemotherapy agents used for the treatment of ovarian cancer, to screen for potential drug interactions and improvement inactivity.
“AHCC is a common, well-tolerated nutritional supplement that has been used for decades in Japan, I am very excited to be pursuing a nutritional approach to trying to find a treatment for HPV infections,” added Smith, whose research is on drug development for gynecologic cancers and conditions with a specific focus on drug interactions/drug resistance and integration of herbal and nutritional supplements for treatment of cancer.