Antitumor and immunomodulatory activity of Inonotus obliquus
The article presents the antitumor and immunomodulatory activity of compounds and extracts from Inonotus obliquus. Polysaccharides isolated from sclerotium have a direct antitumor effect due to protein synthesis inhibition in tumor cells. Polysaccharides derived from the mycelium function by activating the immune system. Due to the limited toxicity of these substances, both extracts as well as isolated and purified chemicals may be a good alternative to current chemotherapy and play a role in cancer prevention. In vitro experiments have shown the inhibition of inflammation with the influence of action of I. obliquus extracts; however, in vivo experiments on animals implanted with tumor cells of different types have shown the activation of the host immune system. This led to decrease in tumor mass and prolonged survival. The immunomodulatory mechanism of action is complex and it seems that stimulation of macrophages and induction of apoptosis in cancer cells is of great importance.