POMx and oxidative stress: defining impact on prostate cancer biology

Many patients have an intense interest in the possible benefits associated with the use of pomegranate extract and pomegranate juice on prevention and management of prostate cancer, and there is limited data on this topic from well-designed studies to date.

A new paper by Freedland et al., just reported in Cancer Prevention Research, has looked at the effects of an orally administered form of pomegranate extract  (POMx, distributed by PomWonderful) on human tissues.

The authors set out to test the hypothesis that this orally administered pomegranate extract  could lower tissue levels of a metabolite known as 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), which is a biomarker for oxidative stress.

The study was only a small, pilot study, but it randomized newly diagnosed patients to 2 tablets of POMx or a placebo every day for up to 4 weeks prior to radical prostatectomy. Patient tissues were subsequently analyzed for a range of possible biochemical indicators. However, the primary end-point of the study was the ability to detect a 30 percent reduction in tissue levels of 8-OHdG.

Here are the core details of the study:

  • 70 patient were enrolled in the trial and randomized to POMx or the placebo treatment.
  • There were no differences in baseline clinicopathological features between patients in the two arms.
  • POMx treatment was associated with a 16 percent reduction in levels of benign tissue 8-OHdG (p = 0.095), which was not statistically significant.
  • POMx treatment was well-tolerated with no treatment-related withdrawals.

The authors state that while treatment with POMx prior to surgery results in pomegranate metabolite accumulation in prostate tissues, the primary end-point in this small, pilot study was not met, and the trial result was negative. On the other hand, the authors also suggest that larger, longer-term studies are needed to assess whether POMx does in fact reduce prostate oxidative stress and further animal testing to better understand the multiple mechanisms through which POMx may alter prostate cancer biology.

One Response

  1. Interesting, Sitemaster. When I moved to Sweden from Amsterdam in 2009, there was a lot of hype about this. I spent too much money drinking it for several weeks, and then adopted a strategy of “wait and see.” This is the second report I have read that suggests that I should keep right on waiting, watchfully.

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