The Cutting Edge
Pomegranate Juice Stabilizes PSA Levels in Men with Prostate Cancer
Men who drank eight ounces of pomegranate juice a day nearly quadrupled the amount of time that their PSA levels remained stable following prostate-cancer treatment, reported a UCLA study in the July 2006 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.
The study, performed at the Clark Urology Center, focused on 50 men who had undergone surgery or radiation yet quickly experienced increases in prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, a biomarker indicative of aggressive cancer.
Researchers measured how long it took PSA levels to double; patients with short “doubling times” are more likely to die from their cancer.
More than 80 percent of the men experienced improvement in doubling times, from 15 months to 54 months. None experienced side effects or had cancers that metastasized during the study.
“If we give pomegranate juice to older men who have been treated for prostate cancer, it may be possible for them to outlive their risk of dying from cancer,” says Dr. Allan Pantuck, associate professor of urology and a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher. “We may be able to prevent or delay the need for hormone treatment or chemotherapy, which bring harmful side effects.
“This is not a cure, but we may be able to change the way prostate cancer grows,” he adds. “We want to find out what cell-signaling pathways are affected, and what is happening to keep PSA levels stable.”