It’s time to invest in pomegranate stocks (or orchards)!

It appears that regular use of commercially available pomegranate extract really does have a significant impact on PSA doubling time (PSADT) among men with a rising PSA but no indication of bone metastasis.

On Thursday at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, Carducci et al. will report data from a randomized, multi-center, double-blind, Phase II clinical trial that compared two different doses of POMx capsules in men with a rising PSA after first-line therapy who wished to delay initiation of androgen deprivation therapy.

The trial randomized men with a rising PSA and without metastases to receive either high-dose (3 mg/d) or low-dose (1 mg/d) POMx. The patients were stratified based on their baseline PSADT values and their Gleason scores, with no restrictions on PSADT and no upper limit PSA values. All patients were treated until disease progression or for 18 months. PSA levels were obtained every 3 months. This study was designed to detect a 6-month increase in PSADT from baseline.

The resulst of the study, as presented in the study abstract, are as follows:

  • 104 patients were enrolled and treated for up to 6, 12, and 18 months (92, 70, and 36 percent of patients respectively).
  • The patients were 96 percent white, had a median age of 74.5 years, and a median Gleason score of 7.
  • The average (median) PSADT was 11.9 months at baseline (range, 1.6 to 54.6 months) compared to 18.5 months (range, 2 to 1,523 months) after treatment (p < 0.001).
  • There was no significant treatment difference in effect on PSADT between the two dose groups (p = 0.920).
  • Declining PSA levels were observed in 13/104 patients (13 percent) during the study.
  • No significant changes in serum testosterone levels were observed in either group.
  • Mild to moderate diarrhea was seen in 8/104 patients (7.7 percent).

Carducci and his colleagues conclude that, “POMx treatment significantly increased the PSADT by over 6 months in both treatment arms, with no effect on testosterone.”

It would certainly appear that pomegranate extract has some clinically effect on the progression of prostate cancer — even if we still have little idea why this may be the case. At least we now know that a small daily dose works just as well as a larger one. This will make the economists happy.

These data are still not sufficient, however, to allow POM Wonderful to actively promote their products in the USA as having a therapeutic effect in the management of prostate cancer. That will require at least one, large, randomized, double-blind clinical trial and full approval by the FDA.

2 Responses

  1. Hello Sitemaster …

    I know this is an old post but I just came across it.

    Regarding the above posting, when it says, “high-dose (3 mg/d) or low-dose (1 mg/d) POMx”, can you tell me what the /d means?

    Is that per dose or per day?

    1 or 3 mg seems very small.

  2. Jim:

    It means “per day.” However, since it is unclear to me exactly what constitutes the active agent(s) in 1 mg of the pomegranate extract marketed by POM Wonderful, I am unable to comment on whether this is or is not a small daily dose.

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