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LE Magazine April 2007

Prostate Health

Phase II study of pomegranate juice for men with rising prostate-specific antigen following surgery or radiation for prostate cancer.

PURPOSE: Phytochemicals in plants may have cancer preventive benefits through antioxidation and via gene-nutrient interactions. We sought to determine the effects of pomegranate juice (a major source of antioxidants) consumption on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progression in men with a rising PSA following primary therapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A phase II, Simon two-stage clinical trial for men with rising PSA after surgery or radiotherapy was conducted. Eligible patients had a detectable PSA > 0.2 and < 5 ng/mL and Gleason score < or = 7. Patients were treated with 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily (Wonderful variety, 570 mg total polyphenol gallic acid equivalents) until disease progression. Clinical end points included safety and effect on serum PSA, serum-induced proliferation and apoptosis of LNCaP cells, serum lipid peroxidation, and serum nitric oxide levels. RESULTS: The study was fully accrued after efficacy criteria were met. There were no serious adverse events reported and the treatment was well tolerated. Mean PSA doubling time significantly increased with treatment from a mean of 15 months at baseline to 54 months posttreatment (P < 0.001). In vitro assays comparing pretreatment and posttreatment patient serum on the growth of LNCaP showed a 12% decrease in cell proliferation and a 17% increase in apoptosis (P = 0.0048 and 0.0004, respectively), a 23% increase in serum nitric oxide (P = 0.0085), and significant (P < 0.02) reductions in oxidative state and sensitivity to oxidation of serum lipids after versus before pomegranate juice consumption. CONCLUSIONS: We report the first clinical trial of pomegranate juice in patients with prostate cancer. The statistically significant prolongation of PSA doubling time, coupled with corresponding laboratory effects on prostate cancer in vitro cell proliferation and apoptosis as well as oxidative stress, warrant further testing in a placebo-controlled study.

Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Jul 1;12(13):4018-26

In vitro antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities of punicalagin, ellagic acid and a total pomegranate tannin extract are enhanced in combination with other polyphenols as found in pomegranate juice.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruits are widely consumed as juice (PJ). The potent antioxidant and anti-atherosclerotic activities of PJ are attributed to its polyphenols including punicalagin, the major fruit ellagitannin, and ellagic acid (EA). Punicalagin is the major antioxidant polyphenol ingredient in PJ. Punicalagin, EA, a standardized total pomegranate tannin (TPT) extract and PJ were evaluated for in vitro antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities. Punicalagin, EA and TPT were evaluated for antiproliferative activity at 12.5-100 microg/ml on human oral (KB, CAL27), colon (HT-29, HCT116, SW480, SW620) and prostate (RWPE-1, 22Rv1) tumor cells. Punicalagin, EA and TPT were evaluated at 100 microg/ml concentrations for apoptotic effects and at 10 microg/ml concentrations for antioxidant properties. However, to evaluate the synergistic and/or additive contributions from other PJ phytochemicals, PJ was tested at concentrations normalized to deliver equivalent amounts of punicalagin (w/w). Apoptotic effects were evaluated against the HT-29 and HCT116 colon cancer cell lines. Antioxidant effects were evaluated using inhibition of lipid peroxidation and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assays. Pomegranate juice showed greatest antiproliferative activity against all cell lines by inhibiting proliferation from 30% to 100%. At 100 microg/ml, PJ, EA, punicalagin and TPT induced apoptosis in HT-29 colon cells. However, in the HCT116 colon cells, EA, punicalagin and TPT but not PJ induced apoptosis. The trend in antioxidant activity was PJ>TPT>punicalagin>EA. The superior bioactivity of PJ compared to its purified polyphenols illustrated the multifactorial effects and chemical synergy of the action of multiple compounds compared to single purified active ingredients.

J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jun;16(6):360-7.

Bioactive compounds from the seeds of Punica granatum (pomegranate).

Two new compounds, coniferyl 9-O-[beta-D-apiofuranosyl(1-->6)]-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (1) and sinapyl 9-O-[beta-d-apiofuranosyl(1-->6)]-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (2), were isolated from the seeds of Punica granatum (pomegranate), together with five known compounds, 3,3’-di-O-methylellagic acid (3), 3,3’,4’-tri-O-methylellagic acid (4), phenethyl rutinoside, icariside D1, and daucosterol. The structures of 1 and 2 were elucidated by spectroscopic data analysis. Compounds 1-4 exhibited antioxidant activity, which was evaluated by measurement of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) susceptibility to oxidation and by determination in vitro of malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the rat brain.

J Nat Prod. 2004 Dec;67(12):2096-8

Preneoplastic prostate lesions: an opportunity for prostate cancer prevention.

Environmental factors, especially the diet, play a prominent role in the epidemic of prostate cancer (PCA), in the United States. Many candidate dietary components have been proposed to influence human prostatic carcinogenesis, including fat, calories, fruits and vegetables, anti-oxidants, and various micronutrients, but the specific roles dietary agents play in promoting or preventing PCA remain controversial. We have collected evidence to suggest that GSTP1, the gene encoding the pi-class glutathione S-transferase (GST), may serve a “caretaker” function for prostatic cells. Although GSTP1 can be detected in normal prostatic epithelium, in almost all PCA cases, PCA cells fail to express GSTP1 polypeptides, and lack of GSTP1 expression most often appears to be the result of somatic “CpG island” DNA methylation changes. Loss of GSTP1 function also appears to be characteristic of prostatic epithelial neoplasia (PIN) lesions, thought to represent PCA precursors. We have recently learned that a new candidate early PCA precursor lesion, proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA), characterized by proliferating prostatic cells juxtaposed to inflammatory cells, contains epithelial cells that express high levels of GSTP1. These findings have formed the basis for a new model of prostatic carcinogenesis, in which prostatic cells in PIA lesions, subjected to a barrage of inflammatory oxidants, induce GSTP1 expression as a defense against oxidative genome damage. When cells with defective GSTP1 genes appear amongst the PIA cells, such cells become vulnerable to oxidants and electrophiles that inflict genome damage that tends to promote neoplastic transformation to PIN and PCA cells. Subsequently, PIN and PCA cells with defective GSTPI genes remain vulnerable to similar stresses tending to promote malignant progression. This new model for prostatic carcinogenesis has implications for the design of new prostate cancer prevention strategies. Rational prevention approaches might include: (i) restoration of GSTPI expression via treatment with inhibitors of CpG methylation, (ii) compensation for inadequate GSTPI activity via treatment with inducers of general GST activity, and (iii) abrogation of genome-damaging stresses via avoidance of exogenous carcinogens and/or reduction of endogenous carcinogenic (particularly oxidant) stresses.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Dec;952:135-44

The role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer.

PURPOSE: A new hypothesis for the etiology of prostate cancer is that chronic or recurrent prostate inflammation may initiate and promote prostate cancer development. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed the current direct and indirect evidence from epidemiology, genetics, molecular biology and histopathology implicating inflammation in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. RESULTS: The case for prostate inflammation as a cause of prostate cancer is compelling. Epidemiology data have correlated prostatitis and sexually transmitted infections with increased prostate cancer risk and intake of anti-inflammatory drugs and antioxidants with decreased prostate cancer risk. Genetic studies have identified RNASEL, encoding an interferon inducible ribonuclease, and MSR1, encoding subunits of the macrophage scavenger receptor, as candidate inherited susceptibility genes for familial prostate cancer. Somatic silencing of GSTP1, encoding a glutathione S-transferase capable of defending against oxidant cell and genome damage, has been found in almost all prostate cancer cases. Proliferative inflammatory atrophy lesions containing activated inflammatory cells and proliferating epithelial cells appear likely to be precursors to prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia lesions and prostatic carcinomas. CONCLUSIONS: Emerging hints that prostate inflammation may contribute to prostatic carcinogenesis will provide opportunities for the discovery and development of new drugs and strategies for prostate cancer prevention.

J Urol. 2004 Nov;172(5 Pt 2):S6-11

Randomized, controlled chemoprevention trials in populations at very high risk for prostate cancer: Elevated prostate-specific antigen and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia.

This is a report of research efforts underway at the Arizona Cancer Center. These efforts build upon Larry Clark’s unanticipated clinical prevention trial results: those results indicated that 200 microg/day of selenium in selenized yeast decreased prostate cancer risk by almost 60%. The trials underway address various phases of the possible preventive activity of selenium. The first of these, for men who are suspected to have prostate cancer but who have had a biopsy revealing no evidence of cancer, will test the ability of selenium to prevent the development of clinical prostate cancer. The second is for men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia; the trial will test whether selenium will prevent the development of prostatic cancer in this high-risk group. The third trial is for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are scheduled for prostatectomy: the trial is designed to test whether evidence of selenium-linked changes can be identified in the tissue removed at prostatectomy. The fourth trial is for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer but who have chosen neither surgery nor irradiation; this trial will evaluate whether treatment with selenium will inhibit the progress of prostate cancer. Together, these trials will provide important information as to the prostate cancer chemopreventive potential of selenium.

Urology. 2001 Apr;57(4 Suppl 1):185-7

Designing the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT).

Prostate cancer continues to be a major health threat, especially among African American men. The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), which opened on July 25, 2001, was planned to study possible agents for the prevention of prostate cancer in a population of 32,400 men in the United States, including Puerto Rico, and Canada. SELECT is a phase III randomized, placebo-controlled trial of selenium (200 microg/day from L-selenomethionine) and/or vitamin E (400 IU/day of all rac alpha-tocopheryl acetate) supplementation for a minimum of 7 years (maximum of 12 years) in non-African American men at least 55 years of age and African American men at least 50 years of age. SELECT is a large, simple trial that conforms as closely as possible with community standards of care. This commentary discusses the design problems the SELECT investigators had to resolve in developing the trial, including the role of prostate cancer screening, the best forms and doses of the study agents, and estimation of the event (prostate cancer) rate of men on the placebo arm.

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Jan 19;97(2):94-102

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