Pomegranate juice may slow the progression of post-treatment prostate cancer recurrence, according to new long-term research results being presented at the 104th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). Researchers found that men who have undergone treatment for localized prostate cancer could benefit from drinking pomegranate juice.
The two-stage clinical trial followed a total of 48 participants over six years. Eligible participants had a rising PSA after surgery or radiotherapy, a PSA greater than 0.2 ng/ml and less than 5 ng/ml and a Gleason score of 7 or less. These patients were treated by drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily. Currently, in the sixth year of treatment, active patients who remain on the study have a median total follow-up of 56 months. These participants continue to experience a significant increase in PSA doubling time following treatment, from a mean of 15.4 months at baseline to 60 months post-treatment, with a median PSA slope decrease of 60 percent, 0.06 to 0.024.
Researchers compared active patients, who remain on the study, with non-active patients, who no longer remain on the study. Though these two groups demonstrated similar mean PSA doubling times at baseline, both the PSA doubling time prolongation and the decline in median PSA slope were greater in active patients when compared to non-active patients.
“This study suggests that pomegranate juice may effectively slow the progression of prostate cancer after unsuccessful treatment,” said Christopher Amling, MD, an AUA spokesman. “This finding and other ongoing research might one day reveal that pomegranate juice is an effective prostate cancer preventative agent as well.”
Parts of this ongoing study suggest that some patients may be more sensitive to the effects of pomegranate juice on PSA doubling time. Phase three of this study is currently underway to further evaluate the benefits of pomegranate juice in a placebo-controlled manner.
NOTE TO REPORTERS: Experts are available to discuss these studies outside normal briefing times. To arrange an interview with an expert, please contact the AUA Communications Office at the number above or e-mail Lacey Dean at LDean@AUAnet.org.
Pantuck, A; Zomorodian, N; Rettig, M; Aronson, W; Heber, D; Belldegrun, A. Long term follow up of phase 2 study of pomegranate juice for men with prostate cancer shows durable prolongation of PSA doubling time. J Urol, suppl. 2009: 181, 4, abstract 826.
About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 16,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs for members and their patients.
Lacey Dean, AUA