Soy Product Induced Remission in Prostate Cancer
A product called Genistein Combined Polysaccharide® (GCP) induced remission in a person with biopsy-proven prostate cancer, according to a case report published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2002;8:493–7).
The authors of this paper report the case of a man with an early stage prostate cancer who was scheduled for prostate removal surgery (prostatectomy) six weeks after his diagnostic biopsy. During this six-week waiting period, he took 1.5 grams of GCP per day. When the prostate tissue was analyzed after removal, no evidence of residual cancer could be found.
It is possible, though unlikely, that this man's prostate cancer resolved on its own without treatment. In a prior study, two of 3,038 patients with biopsy-proven prostate cancer had no evidence of residual disease upon removal of the gland.
GCP is a product made from the fermentation of a soy extract with a complex sugar derived from the basidiomycetes mushroom. Preliminary evidence suggests that genistein, a natural constituent of soy, has anticancer activity. The manufacturers claim that the fermentation process changes the structure of genistein in a way that increases its absorption and efficacy.
Genistein is thought to work against prostate cancer through its weakly estrogenic action. Other estrogenic treatments, such as diethylstilbestrol (or DES) and the herbal product PC-SPES, have been successfully used to treat prostate cancer.
Soy products have long been suspected to have therapeutic activity in people with prostate cancer. Studies have correlated high intake of soy products with decreased incidence of prostate cancer. Animal and test tube studies have shown a direct treatment effect of soy against prostate cancer cells. This is the first published report on the use of this particular preparation of soy.
One barrier to this product gaining wide usage is its considerable expense. A one-month supply of GCP retails for $600.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer, and the second most common cause of cancer death in males. It is commonly treated with surgery, radiation, and medications that block the hormone testosterone.
Controlled clinical trials will be necessary to prove that GCP has activity against prostate cancer. Until then, individuals with prostate cancer should talk to their doctors before taking GCP.
Matt Brignall, ND is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Bastyr University. He works at the Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center, where he specializes in complementary medicine approaches to cancer. He has been published in several journals, including Alternative Medicine Review, Coping With Cancer, and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Brignall also teaches clinical nutrition at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. He is a regular contributor to Healthnotes, Healthnotes Newswire, and the Healthnotes Quick!Reference series.
Copyright © 2002 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the Healthnotes® content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Healthnotes, Inc. Healthnotes Newswire is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Healthnotes, Inc. shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Healthnotes and the Healthnotes logo are registered trademarks of Healthnotes, Inc.