By Kim Polacek
There have been several news reports about the health benefits of green tea. Some tout it can help with weight loss and increase metabolism; others suggest the beverage lowers cholesterol or improves heart health. But can green tea prevent or slow the progression of prostate cancer? Moffitt Cancer Center researchers are hoping to provide an answer to that question.
Funded by the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Nagi Kumar, senior member of the Cancer Epidemiology Program and Department of Genitourinary Oncology, in collaboration with Dr. Julio Pow-Sang, chair of the Department of Genitourinary Oncology and a team of interdisciplinary faculty have launched a phase 2 clinical trial investigating whether substances found in green tea can slow or halt progression of prostate cancer in men with low-grade disease who are under active surveillance.
Studies over the past decade have shown that not all men diagnosed with prostate cancer, especially those men diagnosed with low grade disease, require treatment, including prostatectomy - surgery to remove the prostate. “Active surveillance has evolved as a recommended management strategy for men with low grade prostate cancer, providing the benefit of an individualized approach of carefully monitoring disease progression,” said Pow-Sang.
“However, men diagnosed with low grade disease report that although this is a difficult decision to remain on active surveillance, they are also highly motivated and eager to make positive lifestyle changes, including strategies to further reduce their risk of prostate cancer progression,” said Kumar. But to date, there are limited options that can lower their risk of progression of disease. The study aims to evaluate such an option.
“Our group has systematically evaluated specific substances in green tea called “catechins” in laboratory as well as in clinical trials targeting men at high risk of prostate cancer. We have shown that these catechins inhibit several cancer-related proteins important in reducing progression of prostate cancer” said Kumar.
The objective of the current study is to evaluate if an investigational drug made from catechins called Sunphenon® 90D administered for 24 months to men diagnosed with low grade prostate cancer can help prevent progression of prostate cancer from a low risk stage to higher risk stages in men who are on active surveillance.
For more information about the clinical trial, please call 813-745-6885.