Is it necessary to cure prostate cancer when it is possible? (Understanding the role of prostate inflammation resolution to prostate cancer evolution)
Authors Ronald E Wheeler
Published 15 April 2007 Volume 2007:2(1) Pages 153—161
Ronald E Wheeler
Prostatitis & Prostate Cancer Center, Sarasota, Fl, USA
Objective: Definitive therapy with radical prostatectomy, cryotherapy, or radiation therapy generally follows the initial diagnosis of prostate cancer, particularly when men have at least 10 additional years of life expectancy. There is growing concern regarding the optimal conservative treatment for patients who decline or do not otherwise qualify for such definitive curative treatment. For those patients who choose a watchful waiting approach, it would be beneficial to know what specific dietary and nutritional methods could potentially slow the progression of their disease. In this prospective study, it was our goal to analyze the efficacy and safety of treating prostate cancer conservatively using the principles of a Mediterranean diet in association with a specific prostate nutritional supplement.
Method: Twenty-three men aged 43–74 (median age: 64) with biopsy proven, organ-confined prostate cancer who had already declined immediate hormonal therapy and attempts at a curative cancer treatment agreed to participate in a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) protocol highlighted by diet with a specific prostate nutritional supplement. The diet recommended was a modified Mediterranean diet while a patented nutritional prostatitis formula (Peenuts®) was the supplement common to all patients. Prostate specific antigen (PSA), a recognized marker of prostate disease and prostate cancer activity, was the primary indicator to validate exacerbation or suppression of disease. All men were followed with serial PSA testing, a digital rectal exam, an International Prostate Symptom Score index (IPSS-Index) and an expressed prostatic secretion (EPS) examination. The primary Gleason sum/score represented in this study was 6 (n = 11), while Gleason sum patterns 5, 5/6, 6/7, and 7 were also evaluated. Referencing the Partin Tables, organ confinement was predicted to be 66%.
Results: Eighty-seven percent of men (n = 20) noted a 58% reduction (range of improvement: 13%–90%) in PSA over an average of 38.5 months (range: 13–84 months). The remaining 13% of men included three men who experienced a mild elevation in PSA of 0.3 ng/ml, 0.7 ng/ml, and 0.9 ng/ml over 14 months, 42 months, and 34 months, respectively. Fifteen men had completed an initial and secondary IPSS-Index while 14 men had undergone an initial and secondary EPS. The mean percentage reduction in IPSS-Index was 61% (range: 20%–100% with a median of 55%), while men evaluated with EPS examinations noted a mean percentage reduction in white blood cells of 77.5% (range: 33%–99% with a median of 82%). These results were evaluated using the t-test, Wilcoxon Analysis and the Null Hypothesis and found to be statistically significant.
Conclusion: Clearly there is a need to develop effective alternative conservative therapies for the increasing numbers of prostate cancer patients who will not tolerate definitive curative measures or simply choose a conservative approach. Although this prospective study had no control arm, was of limited duration and included only 23 participants, it did appear to show significant benefit to the majority of prostate cancer patients treated with selective nutritional and dietary therapy alone. Such treatments may provide a safe and effective long-term treatment alternative for some patients. Further study is encouraged.
Keywords: Prostate cancer, prostatitis, prostate cancer nutrition, PSA, EPS, Gleason score, voiding symptoms, Mediterranean diet