Clinical trial shows that pomegranate juice may stop prostate cancer recurrence

April 27, 2009

Pomegranate juice may slow the progression of prostate cancer recurrence after regular treatment according to Stanford University researchers. The researchers found that men who have undergone treatment for localized prostate cancer (prostate cancer that hasn’t spread) could benefit from drinking a daily glass of 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 radiation therapy; PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen and the level of this protein rises in the blood when various things are going wrong with the prostate. When the study started in 2003, the men’s PSA levels were doubling every 15 months. In prostate cancer patients, the level of PSA in their blood is used to monitor their cancer. These patients were treated by drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily. The researchers followed the patients every three months. It typically took four times longer for the PSA level to double when they were drinking pomegranate juice compared to the rate of doubling time before they drank the juice.

“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. The new long-term research results are being presented at the 104th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA).