A potentially novel substance to treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is attracting attention, thanks to a Louisiana State University chemist and her research team. Ergosterol peroxide—a compound derived from Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms and recently licensed by Revive Therapeutics Ltd. (CNSX: RVV, OTCMKTS: RVVTF)—is checking off a lot of boxes. TDR spoke with Fatima Rivas, the Chemistry Assistant Professor who is spearheading the efforts, along with her collaborator, Associate Professor Michelle M. Martínez Montemayor.
The idea that certain species of mushrooms carry significant anti-cancer properties is not new. Polysaccharide-K (PSK) or krestin, from the mushroom T. versicolor, is an approved mushroom product used for cancer treatment in Japan. PSK is a proprietary formulation from the Kureha Corporation, and has long been used as an adjunctive cancer treatments since the mid-1970s.
4000 years ago, ancient Eastern cultures used mushrooms to treat everything from blood and gastral conditions to general herbal tonics. Medicinal use of the shitake mushroom, Lentinula edodes, became widespread in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and were adopted as a tonic to counteract the quotidian aches, pains, and fatigue associated with aging.
The therapeutic benefits of certain fungi phenotypes have been known for millennia. But were any species powerful and safe enough to reverse serious degenerative disease like cancer in a clinical environment? According to our guest interviewees, there’s optimism that it can.
One way is through selectivity in ergosterol peroxide’s ability to treat cancerous cells, while leaving healthy cells unscathed. That is not the case with current chemotherapy options, which are non-selective and adversely impact healthy tissues during treatment:
It is extremely promising in the sense that, we have identified that this compound does not induce a toxicity in normal tissue, but it does have selectivity for tissue that is ill, such as triple-negative breast cancer.Fatima Rivas, Chemistry Assistant Professor, Lousiana State University
Under the terms of the agreement with Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital announced on August 17, 2021, Revive Therapeutics gained exclusive worldwide development and commercial rights to intellectual property (International Patent Application No. PCT/US2020/017053/) titled, Biologically Active Ganoderma Lucidum Compounds and Synthesis of Anticancer Derivatives; Ergosterol Peroxide Probes for Cellular Localization. The agreement could include future payments based on clinical trial and revenue milestones.
Click on the embedded link to hear more about ergosterol peroxide, a compound developed from the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom.