PC-SPES, an herbal compound containing eight different herbs, significantly decreases prostate-specific antigen levels in men with prostate cancer. The preparation could help fight prostate cancer according to researchers said at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's 36th annual meeting.
Many patients have been already been taking the regimen on their own, without proof that it works. Now, a new study and several others have shown that PC-SPES may have a legitimate role in treating prostate cancer.
In the newest study, patients took nine capsules of the herbal supplement daily. Thirty-three patients had not taken previous hormone therapy for their
disease. All patients taking PC-SPES had a major drop in their PSA levels, and in 80% the levels became undetectable although effects were not as complete in patients with more advanced cancer.
The researchers admit they don't know exactly how
PC-SPES works, but they think it may act like a type of estrogen, because it depresses testosterone production in men with prostate cancer.
Side effects from the herbal preparation were mild. Blood clots, leg cramps, constipation, diarrhea and fatigue were reported.
A larger study of the effect of PC-SPES on prostate cancer patients is currently in the planning stages.