(Ivanhoe Newswire) – According to a recent study, men with prostate
cancer who consumed the active compounds in green tea demonstrated a
significant reduction in serum markers predictive of prostate cancer
“The investigational agent used in the trial, Polyphenon E, may have
the potential to lower the incidence and slow the progression of
prostate cancer,” James A. Cardelli, Ph.D., professor and director of
basic and translational research in the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center,
LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, LA, was quoted as saying.

Few studies to date have evaluated the change in biomarkers, which
might predict disease progression. Cardelli and colleagues conducted
this open-label, single-arm, phase II clinical trial to determine the
effects of short-term supplementation with green tea’s active
compounds on serum biomarkers in patients with prostate cancer. The
biomarkers include hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular
endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and prostate specific antigen (PSA).
HGF and VEGF are good prognostic indicators of metastatic disease.
The study included 26 men, aged 41 to 72 years, diagnosed with
prostate cancer and scheduled for radical prostatectomy. Patients
consumed four capsules containing Polyphenon E until the day before
surgery — four capsules are equivalent to about 12 cups of normally
brewed concentrated green tea. The time of study for 25 of the 26
patients ranged from 12 days to 73 days.
Findings showed a significant reduction in serum levels of HGF, VEGF
and PSA after treatment, with some patients demonstrating reductions
in levels of greater than 30 percent, according to the researchers.
There were only a few reported side effects associated with this
study, and liver function remained normal.

Results of a recent year-long clinical trial conduced by researchers
in Italy demonstrated that consumption of green tea polyphenols
reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer in men with high-grade
prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN).
“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,” Cardelli said.
In collaboration with Columbia University in New York City,
researchers are currently conducting a comparable trial among patients
with breast cancer.

SOURCE: Cancer Prevention Research, American Association for Cancer
Research, June 19, 2009