Green Tea Extract Reduces PSA And Other Biomarkers In Prostate Cancer Patients

Life Extension Update Exclusive

June 19, 2009

Green tea extract reduces PSA and other biomarkers in prostate cancer patients

Green tea extract reduces PSA and other biomarkers in prostate cancer patients

In a report published online on June 19, 2009 in the AACR journal Cancer Prevention Research, researchers at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center reveal that consuming a green tea catechin supplement resulted in a reduction in prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as other markers of disease prognosis in men with prostate cancer. Although a number of epidemiological studies have associated green tea with cancer preventive benefits, there have been few trials that have evaluated green tea's effect on biomarkers of the disease.

A team led by James A. Cardelli, PhD, who is the director of basic and translational research at LSU's Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, administered four capsules per day of a green tea supplement, equivalent to 12 cups of green tea, to 26 prostate cancer patients prior to scheduled surgical removal of the prostate gland. The supplement consisted of 50 to 75 percent epigallocatechin gallate EGCG, plus other tea catechins. Blood samples obtained prior to treatment and on the day of surgery were analyzed for the prostate cancer marker PSA, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and vascular epithelial growth factor (VEGF), which have been associated with metastasis, and other factors. Duration of treatment ranged from 12 to 73 days.

Mean prostate specific antigen, HGF and VEGF significantly decreased following treatment with green tea catechins. Over ten patients experienced at least a 25 percent decrease in HGF, and 6 patients had at least a 25 percent decrease in VEGF. Additionally, insulin-like growth factor-I, which has been associated with poor prostate cancer prognosis, declined after treatment with green tea, as did liver function tests, suggesting low treatment-associated toxicity.

The research team is currently conducting a trial at Columbia University to evaluate the effect of green tea supplements in women with breast cancer. "There is reasonably good evidence that many cancers are preventable, and our studies using plant-derived substances support the idea that plant compounds found in a healthy diet can play a role in preventing cancer development and progression," Dr Cardelli commented.

"These studies are just the beginning and a lot of work remains to be done, however, we think that the use of tea polyphenols alone or in combination with other compounds currently used for cancer therapy should be explored as an approach to prevent cancer progression and recurrence."

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Health Concern Life Extension Highlight

Prostate cancer adjuvant therapy

The inhibition of new blood vessel formation to block the growth and spread of prostate cancer (PC) is currently under investigation. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is known to have this antiangiogenesis effect as well as genistein. Other agents that have an effect on cancer cell invasiveness include green tea polyphenols. Green and black tea are derived from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. However, only green tea is rich in the flavonol group of polyphenols known as catechins. The fermentation process used in making black tea destroys the biologically active polyphenols of the fresh leaf. The catechins as a group have significant free radical scavenging ability and are potent antioxidants. Four catechins are found in green tea leaves:

epicatechin (EC)
epigallocatechin (EGC)
epicatechin gallate (ECG)
epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)

Of these four factions EGCG is the most important to the PC patient. Its pharmacological activity extends beyond its actions as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger. Epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) acts against urokinase, an enzyme often found in large amounts in human cancers (Jankun et al., Nature, 1997). Urokinase breaks down the basement membrane of cell junctions, which may be a key step in the process of tumor cell metastasis, as well as tumor growth (Ennis et al., Proc. Annu. Meet. Am. Assoc. Cancer Res., 1997). EGCG attaches to urokinase and prevents these actions.

Long-term consumption of tea catechins is common in China and Japan. The frequency of the latent, localized type of PC does not vary significantly between Eastern and Western cultures, but the clinical incidence of metastatic PC is generally lower in Japan and other Asian countries, in contrast to the common occurrence of metastatic PC in Europe and the United States. One possible explanation is that EGCG consumption in green tea in Asian countries prevents the progression and metastasis of PC cells. This explains the lower mortality rate due to PC and breast cancer in Asian countries as compared to Western countries.

Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI)
2009 Prostate Cancer Conference
Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel
Los Angeles, California

September 12-13, 2009

The Prostate Cancer Conference 2009

The Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) mission is to improve the quality of men’s lives by supporting research and disseminating information that educates and empowers patients, families and the medical community. PCRI is pleased to announce the 11th major conference devoted to prostate cancer, planned and/or produced by members of The Prostate Cancer Research Institute. As in the past, this conference will provide insight for patients, caregivers and medical professionals.

Moderated by the highly regarded Dr. Mark Moyad and Dr. Mark Scholz, this year’s conference will again focus on quality of life Issues. Faculty will talk about important lifestyle and health issues including diet and dietary supplements, erectile dysfunction, hormone blockade side effects and other current issues relating to advanced disease. Exciting up-and-coming technology and research will also be presented.

Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel

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