Studies are ongoing at the University of Pennsylvania regarding the use of the Coriolus versicolor (Yunzhi) mushroom in dog patients who are being treated for hemangiosarcoma. The initial study in 2012 showed promising results, an increase in the survival time (199 days) of dogs with hemangiosarcoma after their splenectomies. This particular mushroom, which has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years, is thought to boost the immune system, a benefit attributed to polysaccharopeptide (PSP). The specific supplement being tested is I’m-Yunity, which has a guaranteed analysis of 38% PSP in each capsule.
Due to the success of the early study, researchers are currently conducting a study evaluating dogs with hemangiosarcoma treated with I’m-Yunity alone, dogs treated with I’m-Yunity + chemotherapy, or dogs treated with chemotherapy alone. The potential for this product is exciting as the prognosis for dogs with hemangiosarcoma is only 3-6 months with traditional therapy. We also use Yunnan Baiyao for dogs with hemangiosarcoma to try to decrease their risk of bleeding events and have had good success with this herbal medication as well.
Anecdotally other veterinary colleagues are using I’m Yunity in cats and in dogs with cancers other than hemangiosarcoma, although more research obviously needs to be completed! We are eagerly awaiting research results to see if a more holistic, safe, benign treatment option through I’m-Yunity will be beneficial for our patients! If you know a dog who has recently been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma and would like more information about joining this study, please contact PennVet’s Clinical Investigation Center directly at (215) 573-0302 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.