Chemoprevention of human prostate cancer by oral administration of green tea catechins in volunteers with high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia: a preliminary report from a one-year proof-of-principle study.

Department of Medicina Sperimentale, Sezione di Biochimica, University of Parma, Via Volturno 39, 43100 Parma, Italy.
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 9.28). 02/2006; 66(2):1234-40. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-1145
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Green tea catechins (GTCs) proved to be effective in inhibiting cancer growth in several experimental models. Recent studies showed that 30% of men with high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (HG-PIN) would develop prostate cancer (CaP) within 1 year after repeated biopsy. This prompted us to do a proof-of-principle clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of GTCs for the chemoprevention of CaP in HG-PIN volunteers. The purity and content of GTCs preparations were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography [(-)-epigallocathechin, 5.5%; (-)-epicatechin, 12.24%; (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, 51.88%; (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate, 6.12%; total GTCs, 75.7%; caffeine, <1%]. Sixty volunteers with HG-PIN, who were made aware of the study details, agreed to sign an informed consent form and were enrolled in this double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Daily treatment consisted of three GTCs capsules, 200 mg each (total 600 mg/d). After 1 year, only one tumor was diagnosed among the 30 GTCs-treated men (incidence, approximately 3%), whereas nine cancers were found among the 30 placebo-treated men (incidence, 30%). Total prostate-specific antigen did not change significantly between the two arms, but GTCs-treated men showed values constantly lower with respect to placebo-treated ones. International Prostate Symptom Score and quality of life scores of GTCs-treated men with coexistent benign prostate hyperplasia improved, reaching statistical significance in the case of International Prostate Symptom Scores. No significant side effects or adverse effects were documented. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that GTCs are safe and very effective for treating premalignant lesions before CaP develops. As a secondary observation, administration of GTCs also reduced lower urinary tract symptoms, suggesting that these compounds might also be of help for treating the symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia.

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