Tamoxifen and Breast Cancer

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Wed Sep 16 23:15:16 EST 1998

In article <36002FB2.1EE6 at livingston.net>,
  dstaples at livingston.net wrote:
> Larry Caldwell wrote:
> >
> > > Taxol has been synthasized and is no longer dependent on natural
> > > sources.
> >
> > Sortakindamaybe.  They found that the green parts of the tree have even
> > more tamoxifen than the bark, so they started doing single cell slurry
> > cultures.  Essentially they take a tree apart into single cells, which
> > divide rapidly in a nutrient bath.  So taxol still comes from the Pacific
> > Yew, it just does it in a vat rather than the forest.  Good thing, or the
> > demand for taxol would have led to the extinction of the yew in short
> > order.
> Cultured then, or cloned, rather than synthasized.  Be in the cooler
> next to yogurt before long. )BG(
> >
> > They're also using taxol as a base in crafting designer drugs with
> > similar modes of action against other types of tumors.
> Had not read that, hope for the forests yet, still that unknown cancer
> fighter out there.
> >
> > -- Larry
> --
> Don Staples
> UIN 4653335

According to studies at Oregon State University, even when grown in
greenhouses, Pacific yew does not grow quickly. Additionally, cuttings are
difficult to root. This may mean culture by seed is a better choice, but at
this time, no one knows that I am aware of. If I am misinformed, I hope
someone will post the refuting citation.

As the new head indicates, there are many other anti-cancerous compounds from
forested lands other than just taxol. Chief among these seem to be the fungi.
This shouldn't be too odd since fungi are closely related to the molds that
produce penicillin, streptomyacin, tetracyclin, etc. All of these compounds
are generically called mycotoxins: they are toxins formed by fungi to prevent
other fungi from colonizing the same piece of substrate (wood) or harming
their host plant (symbiote).

As would be expected in any abundant community, some fungal families appear
to have more active anti-cancerous properties than others. For example, Ling
Zhi or Ganoderma lucidum has been touted as a cure-all for millenia by the
Chinese. Little wonder then that when the Herb of 10,000 Days, as it is also
called, was found to stimulate production of interferon in humans. As might
be expected with any fungi in use for 1300 years, the fungus has a host of
different names depending upon what country gives reference to it: Ling Chi
by Koreans; Reishi and Mannentake by Japanese; Ling Chi, Ling Chih, Ling Zhi
(10,000 Year Mushroom) in Chinese. In America, these woody conks are also
called Artist's Conk, although that name _may_ refer to a different species
of fungus, Ganoderma applanatum. It typically grows on a wide variety of dead
or dying trees including Oregon White oak, Black cottonwood, sweetgum,
locust, willow, elm, maple, magnolia, and was first described from a specimen
collected in China on Flowering Plum. Three species are currently considered
in the US: G. applanatum on cottonwood and conifers; G. tsugae on hemlock; G.
curtsii on oak. The specific variations are such that there is a real
question whether these are not actually the same fungus simply growing on
different woods. For more information including an extensive bibliography,
see Paul Stamets' Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (c.1993 by Paul
Stamets, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA.).

A sampling of other fungi known to have anti-cancerous properties include:
Enokitake, Enokidake (Flammulina velutipes)
Shiitake or Black Forest Fungus (Lentinulla (Lentinus) edodes)
King bolete (Boletus edulis)
Hen of the Woods or Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Hen of the Woods, Zhu Ling, Choei-maitake, Umbrella Polypore (Polyporus
	umbellatus = Grifola umbellata = Dendropolyporus umbellatus)
Bear's Paw, Monkey's Head, Goat's Beard (Hericium erinaceus)
Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea)
Pholiota nameko
Lawyer's Wig, Inky Cap (Coprinus comatus)

Daniel B. Wheeler

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