Breast cancer is the most frequent neoplasia in the world and one of the main causes of death among women. Some of the conventional treatments for cancer are chemotherapy or radiotherapy, knowing that both generate very toxic side effects since they usually affect all cells in active division (healthy or tumoral cells). Therefore, specific treatments are necessary, with therapies aimed at the molecular characteristics of the tumor and its microenvironment. An approach to this could be the search for natural compounds with immunopotentiating capacity and selective toxicity on tumor cells. Recently, immunomodulatory and antitumor activities have been discovered in various fungi. Among them, β-glucans of D-Fraction of Grifola frondosa (Maitake) can generate innate and adaptive immune responses, exerting antitumor effects. The reported therapeutic benefits of treatment of breast tumorigenesis with D-Fraction of Maitake require to deepen pharmacological and toxicological studies, in order to guarantee innocuousness and efficacy in the administration to a patient. Therefore, this chapter aimed to elucidate toxicological, pharmacodynamic, and pharmacokinetic aspects of β-glucans from D-Fraction. In this way, we hope to make a significant contribution to the pharmacological knowledge of these bioactive compounds by promoting an immunotherapeutic and antitumor strategy novel agent.
Part of the book: An Introduction to Mushroom