Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer

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Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer

McLarty J, Bigelow RLH, Smith M, et al. Tea polyphenols decrease serum levels of prostate-specific antigen, hepatocyte growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor in prostate cancer patients and inhibit production of hepatocyte growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor in vitro. Cancer Prev Res 2009; 2(7).



Published Online First on June 19, 2009
[Cancer Prevention Research, 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0167]

Research Articles
Tea Polyphenols Decrease Serum Levels of Prostate-Specific Antigen, Hepatocyte Growth Factor, and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Prostate Cancer Patients and Inhibit Production of Hepatocyte Growth Factor and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor In vitro
Jerry McLarty2,4, Rebecca L.H. Bigelow1,2, Mylinh Smith2, Don Elmajian2,3, Murali Ankem5 and James A. Cardelli1,2
Authors' Affiliations: 1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 2 Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, 3 Department of Urology, and 4 Department of Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center; and 5 Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, Shreveport, Louisiana
Requests for reprints: James A. Cardelli, Department of Microbiology/Immunology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71130. Phone: 318-675-5756; Fax: 318-675-5764; E-mail:


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of short-term supplementation with the active compounds in green tea on serum biomarkers in patients with prostate cancer.
Twenty-six men with positive prostate biopsies and scheduled for radical prostatectomy were given daily doses of Polyphenon E, which contained 800 mg of (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and lesser amounts of (–)-epicatechin, (–)-epigallocatechin, and (–)-epicatechin-3-gallate (a total of 1.3 g of tea polyphenols), until time of radical prostatectomy. Serum was collected before initiation of the drug study and on the day of prostatectomy. Serum biomarkers hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) were analyzed by ELISA. Toxicity was monitored primarily through liver function enzymes. Changes in serum components were analyzed statistically using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Cancer-associated fibroblasts were treated with EGCG, and HGF and VEGF protein and mRNA levels were measured.
HGF, VEGF, PSA, IGF-I, IGFBP-3, and the IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio decreased significantly during the study. All of the liver function tests also decreased, five of them significantly: total protein, albumin, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and amylase. The decrease in HGF and VEGF was confirmed in prostate cancer–associated fibroblasts in vitro.
Our results show a significant reduction in serum levels of PSA, HGF, and VEGF in men with prostate cancer after brief treatment with EGCG (Polyphenon E), with no elevation of liver enzymes. These findings support a potential role for Polyphenon E in the treatment or prevention of prostate cancer.

Key Words: EGCG • prostate cancer • Phase II trial • HGF • VEGF

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for Cancer Research.