Agaricus subrufescensis an edible mushroom native to Brazil and cultivated in Japan for its medicinal uses. It was traditionally used to treat many common diseases like atherosclerosis, hepatitis, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, dermatitis and cancer.
A. subrufescens has beneficial effects on hematological and immunological parameters and thereby help suppress progression of colorectal cancer. In vitro and in vivo experiments suggest A. subrufescens is also able to induce apoptosis in cancerous cells of fibrosarcoma, ovarian cancer, leukaemia, stomach cancer, and prostate cancer; and inhibit the growth and metastasis of the cancers.
Extract of A. subrufescens can be applied both orally and topically to inhibit the growth of skin cancer. Moreover, Agaricus appears to stimulate immune system cells. One example is that A. subrufescens extract has been shown to increase the activity of natural killer cells in gynecological cancer patients and presumably elicits antitumor effects in these patients.
In addition, chemotherapy-associated side effects such as appetite, alopecia, emotional stability, and general weakness were all improved by Agaricus treatment. Taken together, this suggests that ABMK treatment might be beneficial for gynecological cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (Ahn et al.). Another biological property of Agaricus subrufescens worth of mentioning is its antimutagenic effects.
In vivo A. subrufescens extract causes upregulation of genes involved in cell signaling, cycling and transcriptional regulation, which are related to anticancer effects. It is believed the evidence is sufficient to warrant further testing of AbM, both as supplementary, adjuvant cancer therapy; and in relation to treatment of patients with serious multi-antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections (Hetland et al. 2006).