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Biobran (MGN3)

Biobran (MGN-3) is a natural compound made from breaking down rice bran with enzymes from the Shitake mushroom. 

Currently there is no robust scientific evidence to show that MGN-3 helps to treat cancer.

About Biobran (MGN3) and cancer

Companies promoting Biobran state that people taking the product have an increased number of natural killer (NK) cells in their blood. NK cells are part of the immune system.

Some cells of the immune system can recognise cancer cells as abnormal and kill them. But this doesn't prove Biobran can stop cancer growing.


Most of the research into Biobran has been done in the laboratory. Scientists have found that Biobran seems to increase the activity of a type of immune cell (called a dendritic cell) against cancer. Some studies have shown that Biobran may make breast cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy.

One small trial in Vietnam in 2010 showed that Biobran seemed to help some people live longer when combined with conventional treatments for liver cancer. But the authors said that larger trials were needed to see whether Biobran can really help people with liver cancer.

Before any new treatment can be used it goes through a long process of development. During this process the researchers test to check that it works, that it doesn’t do any harm, and that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Only well designed clinical trials can find out if Biobran works as a cancer treatment.

If you want to take Biobran as an additional treatment for cancer, we advise you talk it over with your cancer specialist first.

Last reviewed: 
04 Feb 2013
  • BioBran-augmented maturation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells
    D Cholujova and others
    Neoplasma, 2009. Volume 56, Issue 2

  • MGN-3/Biobran, modified arabinoxylan from rice bran, sensitizes human breast cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agent, daunorubicin
    S Gollapudi and M Ghoneum
    Cancer Detection and Prevention, 2008. Volume 32, Issue 1

  • Modified arabinoxylan from rice bran, MGN-3/biobran, sensitizes metastatic breast cancer cells to paclitaxel in vitro
    M Ghoneum and others
    Anticancer Research, 2014. Volume 34, Issue 1

  • Arabinoxylan rice bran (MGN-3) enhances the effects of interventional therapies for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma: a three-year randomized clinical trial
    MH Bang and others
    Anticancer Research, 2010. Volume 30, Issue 12

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