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Pomegranate and its components as alternative treatment for prostate cancer.

  • Author(s): Wang, Lei
  • Martins-Green, Manuela
  • et al.
Abstract

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States. There is a major need for less toxic but yet effective therapies to treat prostate cancer. Pomegranate fruit from the tree Punica granatum has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and is described as "nature's power fruit". Recent research has shown that pomegranate juice (PJ) and/or pomegranate extracts (PE) significantly inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in culture. In preclinical murine models, PJ and/or PE inhibit growth and angiogenesis of prostate tumors. More recently, we have shown that three components of PJ, luteolin, ellagic acid and punicic acid together, have similar inhibitory effects on prostate cancer growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Results from clinical trials are also promising. PJ and/or PE significantly prolonged the prostate specific antigen (PSA) doubling time in patients with prostate cancer. In this review we discuss data on the effects of PJ and PE on prostate cancer. We also discuss the effects of specific components of the pomegranate fruit and how they have been used to study the mechanisms involved in prostate cancer progression and their potential to be used in deterring prostate cancer metastasis.

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