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In today’s VETgirl online veterinary continuing education blog, we interview Dr. Dorothy Cimino Brown, Professor of Surgery at University of Pennsylvania on the use of the Coriolus versicolor mushroom, known commonly as the Yunzhi mushroom. This mushroom, which has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years, is thought to contain immune-boosting properties from polysaccharopeptide (PSP). The specific product being used is I’m-Yunity, made by Chinese Medicine Holdings LTD (NOTE: This product is manufactured in the USA in adherence to USP c-GMP guidelines). A preliminary University of Pennsylvania pilot study that was released in 2012 evaluated 15 dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma that were treated with 25, 50, or 100 mg/kg/day of I’m-Yunity. While there wasn’t a statistically significant difference in survival between the three dosage groups, the median survival time was highest in the 100 mg/kg/day group, at 199 days. As as result, a second clinical trial is currently being conducted to evaluate dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. This will evaluate dogs treated with I’m-Yunity alone, dogs treated with I’m-Yunity + chemotherapy, or dogs treated with chemotherapy alone.

VETgirl is excited to hear the results, as this devastating, aggressive neoplasia often results in immediate euthanasia in the ER, or even with treatment, only up to 3-6 months with traditional therapy. We eagerly away research results to see if a more holistic, safe, benign treatment option through I’m-Yunity will be beneficial for our patients!

For more information about enrolling your dog or patient in this study, please contact PennVet’s Clinical Investigation Center directly at (215) 573-0302 or via e-mail at vcic@vet.upenn.edu.