Journal of Tumor 2015 – “Regulation of Hematopoiesis in Cancer Patients: Placebo-Driven, Double-Blind Clinical Trials of β-Glucan.”- This article focuses on the effects of glucan supplementation on cancer patients in post-treatment periods to try to alleviate anemia. There was significant improvement in hemoglobin counts and erythrocytes. This article explores the efficacy of beta glucan for improving the after-effects of cancer therapies. One major side effect of cancer and its treatments is anemia. “Hematopoiesis is the production of all types of blood cells including formation, development, and differentiation of blood cells. Prenatally, hematopoiesis occurs in the yolk sack, then in the liver, and lastly in the bone marrow. In the normal situation, hematopoiesis in adults occurs in the bone marrow and lymphatic tissues.” ( More than 50% of cancer patients end up with anemia.

This impacts their immune systems, their quality of life and their survival rates. Anemia can make the cells in our bodies not get enough oxygen. Sometimes, a lack of oxygen may be severe enough to threaten people’s life. Anemia can also cause our hearts to work harder. Severe anemia can cause a delay in cancer treatments or make the treatment dose be reduced. It can also cause some treatments to not work as well as they should. Cancer can cause anemia in many different ways.

Normally, the kidneys send hormones to the bone marrow signal for it to produce red blood cells. This process can be disrupted by cancer slowing the hormone production or by not allowing the body to use stored iron. Red blood cells also wear out faster than normal in cancer patients and may not be replaced as quickly as they are needed. Fewer red blood cells means there is less hemoglobin carrying oxygen throughout your body and hence, the immune system and everything else gets compromised.

This study showed,” The addition of glucan to the food during cancer increased chemotaxis and adhesion of neutrophils, affected the production of myeloid growth factors resulting in increase of hematopoiesis and influenced peripheral progenitors cells in the blood. In a model of irradiated mice, glucan caused regeneration of hematopoiesis and increased survival. In addition, some studies showed a direct increase in the destruction of tumor cells and higher tumoricidal activity by glucan treatment.” (Vetvicka 2015) The study also looked at anemia and chronic fatigue syndrome.  CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that the short 60-day supplementation with orally-administered glucan significantly improved some parameters of hematopoiesis.  Read more…