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E number{{#property:P628}}
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Molar mass1152.99948 g/mol
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Lentinan is an intravenous anti-tumor polysaccharide isolated from the fruit body of shiitake (Lentinula edodes). Lentinan has been approved as an adjuvant for stomach cancer in Japan since 1985.[2] Lentinan is one of the host-mediated anti-cancer drugs which has been shown to affect host defense immune systems.


Lentinan is a β-1,3 beta-glucan with β-1,6 branching. Molecular weight of lentinan is 500,000 Da. Specific rotation +14-22° (NaOH).


An in vitro experiment showed lentinan stimulated production of white blood cells in the human cell line U937.[1] A pharmacological blend (MC-S) of lentinan, PSK, Ganoderma lucidum and Astragalus propinquus has also been shown to stimulate white blood cell production in vitro.[2]

An in vivo experiment on mice, revealed lentinan is orally active (since clinical use of the drug is administered through an IV).[3]

Limited clinical studies of cancer patients have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life, and lower re-occurrence of cancer.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Formulations containing Lentinan

Lentinex is a formulation featuring lentinan and is approved as a safe novel food in the EU.[12]


  1. Sia GM, Candlish JK. (Mar 1999). "Effects of shiitake (Lentinus edodes) extract on human neutrophils and the U937 monocytic cell line". Phytother Res. 13 (2): 133–7. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199903)13:2<133::AID-PTR398>3.0.CO;2-O. PMID 10190187.
  2. Clark D, Adams M. (2007). "Using commercial nutraceutical mixes as immune stimulants: an in vitro proliferation study using Metabolic Cell-Support on non-stimulated human lymphocytes". Austr. J. Med. Herbal. 19: 108–111.
  3. Ng ML, Yap AT. (Oct 2002). "Inhibition of human colon carcinoma development by lentinan from shiitake mushrooms (Lentinus edodes)". J Altern Complement Med. National University of Singapore. 8 (5): 581–9. doi:10.1089/107555302320825093. PMID 12470439.
  4. Yang P, Liang M, Zhang Y, Shen B. (Aug 2008). "Clinical application of a combination therapy of lentinan, multi-electrode RFA and TACE in HCC". Adv Ther. 25 (8): 787–94. doi:10.1007/s12325-008-0079-x. PMID 18670743.
  5. Nimura H, Mitsumori N, Takahashi N, (Jun 2006). "[S-1 combined with lentinan in patients with unresectable or recurrent gastric cancer]". Gan to Kagaku Ryoho. 33 (1): 106–9. PMID 16897983.
  6. Nakano H, Namatame K, Nemoto H, Motohashi H, Nishiyama K, Kumada K. (1999). "A multi-institutional prospective study of lentinan in advanced gastric cancer patients with unresectable and recurrent diseases: effect on prolongation of survival and improvement of quality of life. Kanagawa Lentinan Research Group". Hepatogastroenterology. 46 (28): 2662–8. PMID 10522061.
  7. Oba K, Kobayashi M, Matsui T, Kodera Y, Sakamoto J (July 2009). "Individual Patient Based Meta-analysis of Lentinan for Unresectable/Recurrent Gastric Cancer". Anticancer Res. 29 (7): 2739–45. PMID 19596954.
  8. Hazama S, Watanabe S, Ohashi M; et al. (July 2009). "Efficacy of Orally Administered Superfine Dispersed Lentinan ({beta}-1,3-Glucan) for the Treatment of Advanced Colorectal Cancer". Anticancer Res. 29 (7): 2611–7. PMID 19596936.
  9. Kataoka H, Shimura T, Mizoshita T; et al. (2009). "Lentinan with S-1 and paclitaxel for gastric cancer chemotherapy improve patient quality of life". Hepatogastroenterology. 56 (90): 547–50. PMID 19579640.
  10. Isoda N, Eguchi Y, Nukaya H; et al. (2009). "Clinical efficacy of superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma". Hepatogastroenterology. 56 (90): 437–41. PMID 19579616.
  11. Shimizu K, Watanabe S, Watanabe S; et al. (2009). "Efficacy of oral administered superfine dispersed lentinan for advanced pancreatic cancer". Hepatogastroenterology. 56 (89): 240–4. PMID 19453066.
  12. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy (2010), "Scientific Opinion on the safety of "Lentinus edodes extract" (Lentinex®) as a Novel Food ingredient" (PDF), EFSA Journal, 7 (8): 1685, doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1685