Green Tea Slows Prostate Cancer growth

June 22, 2009

A new human clinical trial conducted at Louisiana State University shows that Green Tea high in its primary ingredient EGCG slows the growth and progression of prostate cancer and that EGCG/Green Tea also lowers the risk of developing prostate cancer in the first place. James A. Cardelli, Ph.D., lead author of the study and director of basic and translational research in the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center at LSU University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, said the new study is one of the few green tea trials which actually evaluated biomarkers in order to predict prostate cancer’s progression. The biomarkers the study tracked were PSA (prostate specific antigen), HGF (hepatocyte growth factor), and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor).

The study involved 26 men aged 41 to 72 who were scheduled for radical prostactectomies to remove their prostate cancer. Each patient took four servings of Green Tea daily for an average of about 35 days up until surgery, which was equal to drinking twelve cups of normally brewed green tea. The researchers found that the green tea compounds significantly reduced serum levels of PSA, HGF, and VEGF, with reductions as great as 30 percent in some patients. Dr. Cardelli said there were few side effects, and that other biomarkers were also “positively affected;” meaning they were reduced.

Referring to the LSU study and to a year-long clinical trial in Italy involving green tea polyphenols, Dr. Cardelli said, “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.” The study is published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.