According to results recently published in Clinical Cancer Research, pomegranate juice may significantly slow the progression of early prostate cancer. However, further study is necessary to confirm these findings and determine potential effects on survival.
The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system. It produces some of the fluid that transports sperm during ejaculation. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in men.
For men with early prostate cancer (cancer that has not spread from the prostate) radiation therapy and/or surgery are common treatment choices. However, a significant number of patients experience a cancer recurrence following these approaches.
One way physicians measure progression of prostate cancer is by prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels. Prostate specific antigens are proteins that are shed by the prostate and can be measured in the bloodstream. PSA doubling time (PSADT) refers to the time it takes for PSA levels to double; PSADT has been shown to be a significant predictor of overall outcomes for patients with prostate cancer.
Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles recently conducted a clinical trial evaluating the potential effectiveness of pomegranate juice on the progression of prostate cancer. This trial included 48 men who had been treated with either radiation therapy or surgery for their prostate cancer and had rising PSA levels following radiation or surgery. The men were given 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day.
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- The average PSADT following radiation or surgery was 15 months.
- The average PSADT following daily pomegranate juice was increased to 54 months.
The researchers concluded that daily pomegranate juice may slow the progression of prostate cancer among men whose PSA levels are rising following treatment with radiation therapy or surgery. The authors stated that these results warrant further study evaluating pomegranate juice for this disease.
Reference: Pantuck AJ, Leppert JT, Zomorodian N, et al. Phase II study of pometranate juice for men with rising prostate-specific antigen following surgery or radiation for prostate cancer. *Clinical Cancer Research.*2006;12:4018-4026.
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