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Coriolus versicolor as an Effective Addition to the Treatment of HPV Infection

by Dr Silva Couto and Prof. Todor Chernev(more info)

listed in cancer, originally published in issue 211 - January 2014

Six months of treatment with Coriolus-MRL, a food supplement that contains biomass of the fungus Coriolus versicolor, is associated with a reduction in viral load in low-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesion (LSIL) patients infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).[1] The findings - presented at the 3rd Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Macedonia by Prof. Todor Chernev of the University Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Sofia, Bulgaria - strengthen the position of Coriolus-MRL as an important addition to the available means for treatment of HPV infection.

Table I HPV

Table I. Results of the treatment of low-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesions (LSIL).*
Presented at 20th European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, March 4–8, 2008 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The latest data support findings released in 2008 (Table I) by Dr Silva Couto from the Institute of Oncology, Coimbra, Portugal, which demonstrated proof-of-concept that immuno-nutrition supplements can be successfully used to improve LSIL HPV status in patients.[2] Dr Couto showed that Coriolus versicolor biomass supplementation (3 g per day) over a period of one year substantially increased regression of LSIL (72.5% versus control 47.5%) and induced clearance of the high-risk sub-types of the HPV virus responsible for cervical cancer (90.0% versus control 8.5%).

This latest work conducted by Prof. Chernev and his associates in the University Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Sofia Bulgaria marks a significant reduction - from 1 year to 6 months - in the supplementation period necessary to achieve regression and clearance. This is an important advance that will aid patient compliance and reduce the already minimal overall cost of Coriolus-MRL therapy.

In two separate studies, Prof. Chernev found that Coriolus-MRL supplementation in HPV-infected patients over a period of 6 months induced clearance of low-risk and high-risk HPV subtypes.

Study 1

In Study 1 (2009–2010), 100 HPV-infected women who were infected with low-risk and high-risk HPV subtypes were treated for 6 months with one of the following treatments:

Coriolus-MRL 2x3 tablets (500 mg) (conservative treatment, 73 patients);
Coriolus-MRL 2x3 tablets (500 mg) + surgical intervention (combined treatment, 27 patients).

  • At first observation, women aged between 16–50 were screened for HPV infection, including HPV subtyping. Cervical cytology exams (Pap smear tests) determined the patients’ level of cervical dysplasia;
  • Six months after the first observations, cervical cytology and HPV typing were repeated on all patients.

Results - Study 1

Table II HPV

Table II. Results of a 6-month study: number of patients and Pap smear results. **
Presented at the 3rd Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Macedonia (with International Participation) May 16-19, 2013 in Ohrid, Macedonia.

Table III HPV

Table III. Results of a 6 month study: high-risk versus low-risk HPV subtype. **   
Presented at the 3rd Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Macedonia (with International Participation) May 16-19, 2013 in Ohrid, Macedonia.  

  1. In the conservative treatment, 64 out of 73 patients (88% of total) reverted to HPV-negative status;
  2. In the combined treatment, 25 out of 27 patients (93% of total)reverted to HPV-negative status;
  3. All Pap group IIIa and IIIb patients reverted to Pap group I and/or II (Table II);
  4. At the end of the study only 11 patients were still positive for one or more HPV subtypes (Table II);
  5. HPV subtype 16 was found to be most treatment resistant.[3]

Study 2

  • In Study 2 (2010–2012), 200 HPV-infected women were treated with Coriolus-MRL 2x3 tablets (500 mg) for 6 months;
  • At first observation, patients aged between 16–45 were screened for HPV infection, including HPV subtyping. Cervical cytology exams (Pap smear tests) determined the patients’ level of cervical dysplasia;
  • Three and six months after the first observations, HPV typing was repeated on all patients;
  • Throughout the study, there was an evaluation of the possible adverse reactions and drug interactions with the main drugs used for treatment. There was also an evaluation of any possible adverse reactions during pregnancy;
  • Coriolus-MRL was taken by the women´s partners in about 70% of the couples.

Results - Study 2

  1. 95% of the patients reverted to HPV-negative status within 6 months;
  2. HPV-positive patients without histological changes reverted to HPV-negative status in 3 months;
  3. In patients with mild dysplasia (CIN I) Coriolus-MRL supplementation helped clear the infection;
  4. In cases with severe dysplasia (CIN II and CIN III) Coriolus-MRL supplementation strengthened the immune system and reduced the risk of relapse;
  5. 90% of those couples taking Coriolus-MRL (70% of total) reverted to HPV-negative status after 6 months;
  6. HPV subtype 16 was found to be most treatment resistant.[3]

Conclusions

Prof. Chernev concluded that Coriolus-MRL is an additional tool in the treatment of HPV infection and that:

  • Coriolus-MRL has no adverse reactions and drug interactions with the main drugs used for the treatment of HPV;
  • Coriolus-MRL could be taken during pregnancy.

What do these Results Mean for HPV Patients?

There are 13 sub-types of HPV that are considered ‘high risk’ for cervical cancer, including HPV 16, 18, 31 and 45. HPV 16 and 18 are thought to be responsible for 70% of all cases of cervical cancer. The eradication or control of HPV viral infection is a key component of cervical cancer treatment. The results from these studies offer further encouragement and insight into the effectiveness of Coriolus-MRL as a supplementary treatment for HPV infection.

It was known, from a smaller study by Dr Couto et al. involving 39 patients,[1] that using Coriolus supplementation for one year resulted in a significant proportion of HPV-infected LSIL patients reverting to normal cytology.

Now, these latest data from Prof. Chernev confirm the beneficial effects of Coriolus-MRL in LSIL patients infected with HPV, and strongly suggest that treatment with Coriolus-MRL offers doctors a useful therapeutic supplement when treating HPV positive women. Prof. Chernev concludes that Coriolus-MRL had no adverse reactions or drug interactions with the main drugs used by patients on the trial, and that it could be taken during pregnancy.

Prof. Chernev has also demonstrated that, when combined with surgery, Coriolus-MRL can possibly play a role for patients who have undergone surgery to remove high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) but who experience recurrent lesions caused by persistent HPV viral infection.

In both the studies by Prof. Chernev, HPV subtype 16 proved to be the most resistant to treatment.

Why Coriolus-MRL?

The source powder of Coriolus-MRL contains both the mycelium and primordial (young fruiting bodies) of the fungus Coriolus versicolor cultivated into a biomass on sterile substrate. The cultivation process, conducted in California, US, is to the same rigorous controls as applied to the manufacture of conventional pharmaceuticals.

Unlike an extracted mushroom product, which may be composed of a specific b-glucan, Coriolus-MRL biomass provides, in addition to b-glucans, enzymes and secondary metabolites that maintain their activity even after exposure to gastric acids.

Coriolus-MRL is marketed by Mycology Research Laboratories Ltd which is based in the United Kingdom. Since 1997, the firm has focused on development and marketing of mushroom nutrition products.

References

1. Chernev T. Coriolus-MRL supplementation in patients infected with low-risk and high-risk HPV subtypes - Bulgarian experience, 3rd Congress of Gynecologists and obstetricians of Macedonia, 16–19 May, 2013.

2. Couto J.S. Use Of Coriolusversicoloras Immunonutrition in HPV Patients With Cervical Lesions (LSIL), 20th European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2008.

3. Borisov S. 2012. Coriolus-MRL - Assessment of the effect on patients infected with low and high-risk types of HPV. Clinical Journal of Mycology, Vol.3, Ed.2:2-3.

Further Information

For more information on the 2008 clinical study please contact Dr. Silva Couto at jsilvacouto@sapo.pt

For more information on the 2013 clinical study conducted in Bulgaria please contact

Professor TodorChervev at tchernev@safesex.bg

Background - For Information Only

What is the link between HPV and Cervical Cancer?

In women between the ages of 35 and 55 the rates of cervical cancer are high. The risk for cervical cancer seems to increase the earlier a woman first has sexual intercourse and as the number of sexual partners increases. Failure to have a regular Pap test also increases risk.

There are some 100 strains of HPV in all, with different genotypes. One small group of HPV have been identified as being responsible for certain types of tumours in different epithelia. This group of HPV is the number one cause of cervical cancer (carcinoma). Other HPV strains cause genital warts and have led to HPV sometimes being called the wart virus or genital wart virus. However, the types of HPV that cause warts are not the types that cause cervical cancer.

There are 13 sub-types of HPV that are considered “high risk” for cervical cancer, including HPV 6, 11, 16, 18, 31 and 45. Of these HPV 16 and 18 are thought to be responsible for 70% of the cases of cervical cancer. High risk types can cause changes in the cells covering the cervix that make them more likely to become cancerous in time. If a patient has persistent or frequent infections with any of the “high risk” types they are at risk of developing pre-cancerous cervical cells or cervical cancer.

HPV infection can result in a change in cervical epithelial (skin wall) cells from normal (Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia [CIN]-0) to one of two squamous cell types: high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL).

Classification of cervical dysplasia*** 

Terminology for describing Degree of Dysplsia

CIN-1 Treatment (LSIL)

The usual treatment for CIN-1 patients is one of ‘wait and see’. The prognosis of this situation is not as dangerous as with HSIL. In some cases, especially among women below the age of 35, the immune system is capable of ‘clearing’ or keeping the virus under control.

However, in women (and their sexual partners) over the age of 35, especially those who take oral contraceptives and smoke, the immune system is often too compromised to clear the virus. Consequently, when diagnosed with CIN-1 (LSIL-HPV) infection, such patients may need adjunct supplementation to support their immune system against progressive HPV infection.

CIN-2/ CIN-3 Treatment (HSIL)

Usual treatment for HSIL patients involves removing lesions with a scalpel, laser therapy, or loop electrosurgical excision procedure. These surgical treatments preserve a women´s ability to have children. As HSIL lesions can recur after surgery, medical practitioners advise women to return for examinations and Pap smear tests every 3 months for the first year after surgery and every 6 months subsequently.

If the cancer is more advanced (CIS), then hysterectomy plus removal of adjacent structures and lymph nodes (radical hysterectomy) is usually necessary. Radiation therapy is also highly effective for treating advanced cervical cancer that has not spread beyond the pelvic region.

References

1.         Clinical Journal of Mycology Feb 2007, Vol. 2 .Edition 1.p 6.

FootNotes

*  Presented at 20th European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, March 4–8, 2008 in Lisbon, Portugal.

** Presented at the 3rd Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Macedonia (with International Participation) May 16-19, 2013 in Ohrid, Macedonia

***  Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/718158_4

Further Information

For more information on the 2008 clinical study please contact Dr. Silva Couto at jsilvacouto@sapo.pt

For more information on the 2013 clinical study conducted in Bulgaria please contact

Professor TodorChervev at tchernev@safesex.bg

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About Dr Silva Couto and Prof. Todor Chernev

Dr Silva Couto. Institute of Oncology, Coimbra, Portugal may be contacted via jsilvacouto@sapo.pt      

Prof. Todor Chernev.  University Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sofia, Bulgaria may be contacted at tchernev@safesex.bg

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