HOPA 2018 | AHCC nutritional supplements to prevent HPV-associated cancers

Judith Smith

The human papilloma virus (HPV) currently has no cure, with virtually all cases of cervical cancer being caused by HPV. Here, Judith Smith, PharmD, BCOP, CPHQ, FCCP, FISOPP, of UTHealth McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX, discusses her findings looking at the nutritional supplement active hexose correlated compound, more commonly known as AHCC, that has shown promise in eradicating HPV. Dr Smith was speaking from the 2018 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Annual Conference, held in Denver, CO.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

One of the things that I was able to share today, that was a good story of how this all works, I think sometimes you think pharmacists don’t make big impactful changes in research, and it’s hard for me to say my research is important, but I’m excited about what we’re finding, and I’m very passionate about the use of nutritional supplements, that’s my research program in integrative medicine.
We were able to find this research supplements called AHCC. We looked at it, we started in the lab and we came to mouse models, and that we’ve done two pilot studies and have an ongoing Phase two study where it’s successfully eradicating HPV virus, which is really exciting.
The human papillomavirus or HPV causes a number of cancers. I’m in gynecological oncology, so I was initially focused on cervical cancer, but since we started this research over a decade ago, and it’s evolved now to be involved in many cancers, so it was really exciting to share with my colleagues today and say look, we took this, we persisted with ongoing research for over a decade, to bring it to a full Phase two, double-blind, randomized control study, but showing success in both our two pilot studies, we’re about to publish that, and hopefully share that more with the gynecology community, but it’s going to have more impact in all HPV-related areas as a potential real prevention for cancer.
So we’re excited, and that’s something that being a pharmacy researcher, was able to connect the dots between AHCC being used for other viral indication, and a lot of immune support studies decided, ‘wait a second, we could use this for cancer prevention’, and connecting those dots, so having that clinical perspective, bringing it to the research really helped, and so that was a good example to share with the team today and get people excited that we can really make some impactful changes.
The substance we’re evaluating is active hexose correlated compound, or AHCC is its commercial trade name, and it’s a supplement that I learned about, it’s from a company called Amino Up Chemical in Sapporo, Japan, but is distributed worldwide by a number of nutritional supplement companies, and we’ve been focused on this and looking at its immune modulation to eradicate the human papilloma virus.

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