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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
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ISSN Imprimer: 1521-9437
ISSN En ligne: 1940-4344

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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v7.i12.130
pages 127-140

The Chemistry, Nutritional Value, Immunopharmacology, and Safety of the Traditional Food of Medicinal Split-Gill Fugus Schizophyllum commune Fr.:Fr. (Schizophyllaceae). A Literature Review

Christopher Hobbs
Institute for Natural Products Research, Davis, CA 95065; and Institute for Natural Products Research, 4731 East Fork Rd., Williams, OR 97544, USA


The cosmopolitan wood-loving mushroom, Schizophyllum commune, is used as a traditional food throughout Southeast Asia and India. Researchers have intensively studied a (13)-β-D-glucan from the mycelium extract, schizophyllan (SPG) since the 1970s, and today it is used as a biological response modifier (BRM) in combination with chemo- and radiation therapy, especially for cervical and gastric cancers. Based on an abundance of preliminary evidence showing binding of its (13)-β-D-glucan to dectin-1 receptors of macrophages and other cells, activation of a T-cell cascade with subsequent increased production of cytokines, such as interleukins and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), reduction of tumor size and growth, increased survival of tumor-bearing animals, and a few controlled human trials of varying methodologies and quality, it continues to be used in clinical practice. Larger, well-designed clinical trials are needed to secure its place in modern medical practice in other countries. Fundamental questions such as whether oral application is effective, determination of proper dose, frequency and length of administration, and whether SPG is effective with other types of cancer still need to be answered.