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Old 08-20-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
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Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

A study at ULCA showed that men given 8 oz of Pomegranate juice a day showed a slow down in the growth of prostate cancer cells and PSA levels.

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Old 08-21-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

Was the study paid for by the Pomegranite producers? Seriously, there's no hard science proving that any nutritional supplements can prevent or cure prostate cancer. I tried Saw Palmetto and Lukeine's (tomato extracts) for 7 years before I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Those were the big ideas back in the nineties. Tahitian Noni juice came along later as the prevent anything, cure anything natural elixir which never proved out except by those selling and promoting it.
However thats not to say that sensible use of nutritional supplements won't support good health, energy and the immune system. Of course they do when used judiciously. Much as we'd like it, cancer isn't prevented, cured or effectively treated with vitamins, herbals or supplements despite the claims of their manufacturers and promoters. Anecdotal testimonials are no substitute for good science.

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Old 08-22-2008, 02:42 PM   #3
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

This study didn't say it was a cure. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the UCLA study was done for men who already had prostate cancer and had a rise in PSA levels after treatment. What it showed was that Pomegranate juice significantly slowed the rise in PSA levels over those no taking the juice. So supposedly the juice slowed the growth of cancer cells quite a bit.

 
Old 08-23-2008, 09:32 AM   #4
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

Perhaps it slowed the rise a bit. But was the slowdown clinically significant as compared with Hormone Blockade which stops it dead in its tracks for the many years before it becomes hormone refractory? With recurrance of prostate cancer after primary treatment the goal is to eradicate as much of the recurring cancer as possible as quickly as possible with either local radiation following surgery and/or hormone blockade. I suspect the effect of the Pomegranate Juice may be too mild to qualify as first line therapy, although it certainly can't hurt.
Pomegranate extract is currently considered an excellant and potent anti-oxidant which supports the immune system and helps ward off infections and inflammatory conditions. I use it myself as part of my health maintenance regimen. However I'd never rely on any of the many supplements I use as primary treatment for any acute or serious illness.

 
Old 08-23-2008, 10:49 PM   #5
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

Thank you shs50 for taking the time to comment on this study. You are absolutely right in your assessment.

This study was "conducted at the University of California in Los Angeles and published in the July 1st, 2006 edition of Clinical Cancer Research. It should be noted that funding for this study was provided by a company that produces Pomegranate juice."

This study was "funded by the owners of POM Wonderful Co., the maker of the pomegranate juice used in the study."

Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is very important for everyone, at any age. Beyond that, if a magic pill that slowed or stopped cancer really did exist, it would be a headline on page one of every newspaper in the world. And the finder or discoverer would be richer than Bill Gates. I really beleive that in the not so distant future, the medical world will find a cure for virtually all disease.

 
Old 03-08-2011, 03:51 PM   #6
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

I believe one of the problems we have is that none of the natural supplements can be patented. Therefore there are no companies out there willing to sponsor a placebo controlled, double blind study using 5,000 subjects. Many times there is a lot of science and smaller studies that support the killing of cancer cells but they are not large enough to attract worldwide attention. The alternative is to believe some of the claims coming from large drug companies that have billions at stake. Some of the drugs have been found to extend life a few months but the side effects are debilitating. My choice has been to stick with the natural supplements and not suffer the side effects. I'm hoping the pomegranite concentrate I use (highly concentrated powder with 70% ellagic acid) will slow things down and reverse the PSA trend -- dale

 
Old 03-09-2011, 11:57 PM   #7
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

04chris,

I think that if some common natural supplements could cure cancer then it would be common knowledge. Some supplements may be good for prostate health but it is basically a genetic predisposition or defect which causes you to develop prostate cancer not diet. People who have treatable prostate cancer should not take supplements or drugs as it will give you a false sense of security. The PSA is down but the cancer isn't. That's why when you see an ad on TV for Avodart they include a disclaimer at the end of the commercial to the effect that "you should see your doctor as you symptoms may be due to a more serious condition such as prostate cancer. My urologist at Loma Linda was horrified when she read that my urologist in Canada was giving Avodart to me after a prostate cancer diagnosis. All that may happen is that you will delay treatment until it is too late. If you can get treated, do it.

Bob

 
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:34 AM   #8
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

Hi Bob,
I agree that there is certainly a large genetic predisposition to prostate cancer. Yet, many men with family histories rife with prostate cancer never get the disease, and many men with no family history of PC, like myself, do get the disease. This is the epigenetic (environmental) component. Both play a role.

Whether common foods or supplements can reduce risk may not be common knowledge because of the costs of PC research. Typically researchers have to track treatments over a very long time period for PC. This is time-consuming and expensive. Who would pay for it? Most research on supplements is relegated to lab studies, retrospective analyses or very small pilot studies. There have been exceptions, like the SELECT trial on Vitamin E and Selenium, but those are few and far between, unfortunately.

The 5-α-reductase inhibitors, finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart), have been well-studied, however.

The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) was a randomized, double-blind controlled trial among 18,882 men concluded that Finasteride significantly reduced the PCa risk relative to placebo across multiple Gleason scores (4 through 7), including a 58% reduction in Gleason score 5 PCa risk, a 52% reduction in Gleason score 6 PCa risk , and a 22% reduction in Gleason score 7 PCa risk. Finasteride had no significant effect on the risk of Gleason score 2, 3, or 8-10 cancer.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19328538

The REDUCE trial, a multi-center, 5-year placebo-controlled, parallel group study among 6729 men who subsequently had a biopsy, found that Dutasteride (Avodart) reduced the risk of PC by 22.8%.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20357281 (free full text available)

The authors also concluded that dutasteride actually improved the detection of prostate cancer and did not mask it. PSA increase was a better indicator of cancer in men who received dutasteride vs placebo. Conversely, the initial decrease in PSA in men taking dutasteride did not predict the likelihood of prostate cancer. In other words, because 5-α-reductase inhibitors reduces PSA coming from BPH, any subsequent rise in PSA is a red flag for cancer. Also, by reducing the size of the prostate, they improve the chances of detecting any cancer with a biopsy, and improve the ability of radiation to cure PC.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21074214

IMHO 5-α-reductase inhibitors should be routinely prescribed for men with moderately high (4-10) or rising PSA levels. They may potentially save many men needless biopsies and treatments.

- Allen

 
Old 03-10-2011, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

Tall Allen

My worry is that men who have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer especially younger men will put off treatment because they are taking something that reduces their PSA. I drank a lot of pomegranate juice in my time and my urologist told me he had patients that were drinking so much pomegranate juice there anus's were blistered.

As for hormone treatments before surgery and radiation Dr. Critz told me that there was no statistical evidence that this increased life span and just unnecessarily subjected men to the side effects of hormones. I know that on the surface it makes sense that a smaller prostate would be easier to treat surgically as it is a difficult surgery tucked under the pubic bone and that a smaller area could be targeted using radiation.

 
Old 03-10-2011, 11:57 AM   #10
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

Hi Thanks for letting us know for the sake of our husbands. It is difficult to know sometimes even with food because of varying ploys but I guess we could use a few extra fresh pomegranites since that is the way they come from the tree. The boiled juice might of course have some of the enzyme destroyed by heat. It is said vitamin C which is an anti-inflammatory is destroyed to an extent by heat and who knows what all other anti-inflammatories are destroyed by processing. This would of course be true for almost any other canned or bottled juice.

Last edited by sjb; 03-10-2011 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Addition

 
Old 03-10-2011, 01:03 PM   #11
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

Hi Bob,
Ouch! (and LOL)@blistered anuses
I agree that it is SO important that Active Surveillance be really active and not just an excuse to be in denial.

It's always problematic to use increased lifespan as a measure of effectiveness of any treatment for PC. As you know, PC is very slow-growing in its early stages, and it may be twenty or more years until a PC cause-specific death is reached, and often something else will be the cause of death first. Very few studies track that long. Freedom from biochemical failure is a much better measure of the effectiveness of any treatment for PC.

It was this error in using increase in lifespan as an endpoint that led the US government to recommend against PSA testing as a subsidized test, the way mammograms are for breast cancer. The evidence they relied upon were studies in the US and Europe that showed no significant increase in expected lifespan from PSA testing. If they had used instead something like the decreased incidence of metastatic disease or the decrease in lifetime treatment costs, the cost-benefit analysis of PSA testing would have been a lot more favorable.

Neoadjuvant hormone treatment is usually reserved for intermediate or advanced cases. It has improved outcomes in such cases, measured by freedom from biochemical recurrence, in many clinical trials. It doesn't seem to be useful in localized early-stage disease. Here is a good review of those clinical trials:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2949366/?tool=pubmed

It is also used among those whose prostates are too large for effective brachytherapy, where it is well-known to reduce prostate size and improve outcomes:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10606479

- Allen

 
Old 03-16-2011, 03:56 PM   #12
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

CONCERN WITH NO PATENTS FOR SUPPLEMENTS, AFFECTING TRIALS MOTIVATION FOR COMPANIES

Hi dale,

I have followed the pomegranate research closely and can address some of your concerns. I've read the responses to date - quite an active thread, so I've put a title at the top so I can respond to each concern in the different posts. (Thanks to Allen for his responses that have covered some key ground already.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by 04chris View Post
I believe one of the problems we have is that none of the natural supplements can be patented. Therefore there are no companies out there willing to sponsor a placebo controlled, double blind study using 5,000 subjects.
That's true. The UCLA pomegranate study was small - fewer than 100 men, yet it cost POM Wonderful millions. I've heard they have spent $34,000,000 on research supporting their products. That ain't chicken feed, and they have no exclusivity through patents, as you have pointed out.

Quote:
Many times there is a lot of science and smaller studies that support the killing of cancer cells but they are not large enough to attract worldwide attention.
Fortunately, this is not the case with pomegranate research. Though the UCLA trial was small, the team was highly respected and the success measure, change in PSA doubling time, was highly measurable and objective. Fortunately, a recently announced trial led by a highly respected team from Johns Hopkins came to a similar conclusion. Moreover, lab research involving microarrays of genes known to play positive and negative roles in prostate cancer versus elements of pomegranate (rind, seeds, juice, you name it) offered strongly corroberative support. Believe me, pomegranate research is getting a lot of attention.

Quote:
The alternative is to believe some of the claims coming from large drug companies that have billions at stake. Some of the drugs have been found to extend life a few months but the side effects are debilitating.
It is very important that cancer patients appreciate what these results really mean to them that show "just" a few months of benefit. Typically, such trials are run with patients in terrible shape, with very advanced disease and short life-expectancies. Typically a proportion of the patients don't respond at all, while others have fairly vigorous responses. What's reported, unfortunately, is just the average. You often notice a much longer response if you eliminate the non-responders and focus just on the responders. For example, my main therapy has been triple hormonal blockade, and it is working very well for me in my twelfth year despite a very aggressive case. However, the initial trial of combined hormonal therapy (two drug, not three), showed an advantage of just a few months. Also fortunately, medical oncologists can most often spot non-responders quickly and switch to other approaches, dropping the useless approach. A lot of research is focused on figuring out who will respond to which therapies.

Quote:
My choice has been to stick with the natural supplements and not suffer the side effects. I'm hoping the pomegranite concentrate I use (highly concentrated powder with 70% ellagic acid) will slow things down and reverse the PSA trend -- dale
I've probably replied with this before to you, but I think you may be successful with your total program to combat your recurrence after your RP. By the way, the UCLA group followed their first trial with an extension for men who stayed with the program and in the trial. The PSA doubling time for the entire group was about 15 months at the start of the first trial and about 54 months after two years; for the subset who continued with the juice, their doubling time grew to 88 months. As I've probably mentioned to you before, a number of men had PSA doubling times that could not be calculated because their PSA levels actually dropped!

All that said, it might help to consult a real expert, and keep monitoring carefully.

Take care,

Jim

 
Old 03-16-2011, 04:39 PM   #13
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

Jim,
Great info! In one of your posts you mentioned some follow-on, well controlled trials using juice. I too wonder how they will duplicate the flavor. (Capsules or powder would seem to be a better choice). I'm still taking two tablespoons of pomegranite rind powder mixed in water -- I'm sure a maggot would have trouble keeping it down. I believe I'd mentioned that the 70% ellagic content also contains a bunch of the other beneficial components (according to the manufacturer). I hope to have an appointment with an oncologist at Loma Linda next week.
Thanks again

 
Old 03-16-2011, 06:34 PM   #14
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

Hi Bob,

I'm replying to your earlier response to 04chris (dale) about supplements, in which you stated, in part:


[QUOTE=harpman;4703008]04chris,

I think that if some common natural supplements could cure cancer then it would be common knowledge."

How I wish, but that is not at all the way it works! Unfortunately, there are many bogus claims on the one hand, with greedy hucksters trying to foist unreliable claims and products on the public, and stubborn doctors and medical "authorities" on the other, unwilling to recognize the merits of legitimate nutritional items and supplements. It can be hard for the layman and even those with medical knowledge to separate fact from fiction.

Fortunately, disciplined research helps answer these questions, or at least, more often the case, gives us key clues to help us place our bets. The pomegranate research discussed on this board for some time is one example of convincing research. Research on selenium for prostate cancer is an example indicating that the biological mechanism is probably fairly complicated; it now appears, thanks to the Kantoff team's research, that genetic differences govern who will benefit a lot and who will not benefit. One of the doctors who has studied nutrition and prostate cancer with care is Dr. Charles "Snuffy" Myers, MD, once a leading pharmacologist at the US National Institutes of Health, and now a medical oncologist specializing in prostate cancer. He has written a short book to help us layman sort through hype and research; it's entitled "Flaxseed oil: panacea or poison". You might want to take a look at it.

Part of the problem is that none of these supplements or nutritional elements appears sufficient by itself to cure or halt the advance of prostate cancer in all of us. Would that our disease were like scurvy, the disease that was preventable with citrus fruit. For some of us, there probably is indefinitely long term control, while for others with very aggressive disease, a nutritional program may help very little.


Quote:
Some supplements may be good for prostate health but it is basically a genetic predisposition or defect which causes you to develop prostate cancer not diet.
I'm interested what is leading you to that conclusion, one that is not shared by most experts in the prostate cancer medical community. For instance, the "Asian paradox" is often cited as evidence suggesting that environment, probably with diet and nutrition in the forefront, appears to make a strong difference in the frequency of developing clinical prostate cancer. The paradox goes like this: while Asian men, for instance Japanese men who have been well studied, have a rather low incidence of prostate cancer when they live in Asia, years after emigrating to the United States, their incidence of prostate cancer approaches the level of those living in the US all their lives.

The cancer research community is very concerned with genetics, but it is also concerned with what is known as "epigenetics", in short, the environment surrounding the genes. The view is that genetics is like a light switch: in one position it favors cancer, and does not favor it in the other; the environment is like the flick of the switch one way or the other.


Quote:
People who have treatable prostate cancer should not take supplements or drugs as it will give you a false sense of security. The PSA is down but the cancer isn't.
Your statement about taking supplements is absolute. It is contrary to many recommendations from responsible authorities. Try to think of specific supplements that so affect PSA and evidence to support your statement. I think you will have a hard time coming up with specifics.

Quote:
That's why when you see an ad on TV for Avodart they include a disclaimer at the end of the commercial to the effect that "you should see your doctor as you symptoms may be due to a more serious condition such as prostate cancer.
Tall Allen already addressed your comment, I believe. Research has proven that the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor drugs, specifically finasteride (formerly Proscar) and Avodart, do reset the PSA to a level about half the level at the start. After that reset, research has proven that these drugs reduce the "noise" from non-cancer aspects of the PSA signal, making it more reliable, not less, as an indicator of prostate cancer, and do the same for the DRE exam.

Quote:
My urologist at Loma Linda was horrified when she read that my urologist in Canada was giving Avodart to me after a prostate cancer diagnosis. All that may happen is that you will delay treatment until it is too late. If you can get treated, do it.

Bob
Circumstances can make all the difference here. If a man has aggressive cancer and Avodart is the only treatment, that would concern me too. On the other hand, in some circumstances that would be a reasonable approach, provided it was coupled with appropriate monitoring and perhaps other therapy to enable a timely shift to another approach if needed. In the hands of a savvy expert, treatment would not be delayed until it was too late, based on research.

Try checking www.pubmed.gov, a site we can use on this board because it is Government sponsored, to check out the facts.

Take care and happy hunting in PubMed,

Jim

 
Old 03-16-2011, 07:07 PM   #15
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Re: Promegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer According to UCLA Study

SHORTSIGHTED RESEARCH LED TO FAULTY CONCLUSIONS REGARDING SCREENING

Hi Allen,

I'm posting to amplify the points you are making and cite an illustration from last weeks conference Innovative Minds in Prostate Cancer Today. You wrote in part, responding to Bob (Harpman):


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tall Allen View Post
...It's always problematic to use increased lifespan as a measure of effectiveness of any treatment for PC. As you know, PC is very slow-growing in its early stages, and it may be twenty or more years until a PC cause-specific death is reached, and often something else will be the cause of death first. Very few studies track that long. Freedom from biochemical failure is a much better measure of the effectiveness of any treatment for PC.

It was this error in using increase in lifespan as an endpoint that led the US government to recommend against PSA testing as a subsidized test, the way mammograms are for breast cancer. The evidence they relied upon were studies in the US and Europe that showed no significant increase in expected lifespan from PSA testing. If they had used instead something like the decreased incidence of metastatic disease or the decrease in lifetime treatment costs, the cost-benefit analysis of PSA testing would have been a lot more favorable.

...
The egregious flaws in the US screening study (known as "PLCO") and the European study that were jointly published by the New England Journal of Medicine deeply upset me on their release. Even as a layman survivor without enrolled medical education I could spot serious problems, and I wrote a lengthy post about them, highlighting the gross, conclusion-invalidating problems. I soon found I was among of chorus of those with medical authority and expertise who were highlighting the same flaws. For anyone interested, that thread was entitled "Two new screening studies - crucial flaws in interpretation," initially posted on 3/9/2009.

In the US study the average (median) follow-up was just seven years. Now let's keep in mind that the participants in the study were healthy at the start - no prostate cancer. Therefore, it no doubt took several years to develop the disease for most. That means that follow-up after diagnosis was almost certainly less than five years. According to research information summarized in Table 173 of the US Statistical Abstract for 2009, five year survival for caucasian men with prostate cancer was 99.4%, and 95.9% for African American men, during the period from 1996 through 2004! Therefore, the researchers concluded that screening was unhelpful despite the clear fact that their follow-up period was too short to reveal an effect! Amazing!

Unfortunately, the ripples from these misleading studies are still spreading; at the IMPaCT conference a doctor who is considered fairly expert quoted the studies as if they were gospel. That prompted yours truly, attending as a surivor representative, to rise with a very pointed audience question, and another panel member thereupon pronounced the studies "weak" and described additional serious flaws (such as "contamination", but that's another story). It amazes me that intelligent doctors sometimes have such great difficulty in connecting the dots. Fortunately, good sense often prevails, as it did at the conference.

As we might have guessed, follow-up analyses, based on additional years for these trials, and in-depth analysis of sements of the European trial, are already showing more robust benefits of screening. Allen, your figure of 20 years was used by that panel member with sense as the likely minimum time to get valid results from such a screening study based on survival comparisons, assuming other flaws were minor, which, in these two studies, was unfortunately not the case.

Take care,

Jim

Last edited by IADT3since2000; 03-16-2011 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Added brief text right after posting.

 
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