Antioxidants and Prostate Cancer Prevention

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Ed C. (Old67)
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2457
   Posted 8/5/2010 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
This report is from the John Hopkins news letter:

Update: Antioxidants and Prostate Cancer Prevention

What's the latest thinking on antioxidants, like vitamin E and selenium, and prostate cancer prevention? Johns Hopkins experts look at clinical trials data and provide bottom line advice ...

Investigators have theorized that certain antioxidants, like vitamin E, might inhibit the growth of cancer cells. In the 1990s, two trials opened up the possibility that taking antioxidant supplements such as selenium and vitamin E might reduce the risk of prostate cancer. These tantalizing findings led to two large, randomized, controlled trials -- both of which had disappointing results.

The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), which is the largest cancer prevention trial ever conducted, randomized more than 35,000 men aged 50 or older to receive either 200 mcg of selenium, 400 IU of vitamin E, a combination of both, or a placebo.

After an average of four to seven years, men taking the supplements were no less likely to have prostate cancer than those taking the placebo. In fact, the men in the vitamin E group were slightly more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer -- although the difference was so small that it could have been due to chance. In addition, those on selenium were more likely to develop diabetes. Thus, the study was stopped early.

In the Physicians' Health Study (PHS) II, nearly 15,000 male physicians were randomized to receive 400 IU of vitamin E every other day, 500 mg of vitamin C every day, or a placebo. After an average follow up of eight years, nearly 2,000 men had been diagnosed with cancer. about half of those diagnoses were for prostate cancer.

The researchers found that a diagnosis of prostate cancer or cancer in general was just as common among people taking vitamin E or C as it was among those taking a placebo. The complete findings from both studies were published in JAMA -- The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers are not sure why SELECT and PHS II produced such disappointing results; however, it appears that no single agent, in isolation, is likely to prevent prostate cancer. The idea that a micronutrient taken in pill form might reduce the risk of prostate cancer is probably simplistic. In addition, this view ignores the possibility that it is a combination of important elements present in a healthy diet that might be the key to reducing the risk of cancer.

Our advice: Do not take antioxidant supplements in hopes of preventing prostate cancer. However, a multivitamin may be appropriate for some people when taken under the direction of their primary care physician.
Age: 67 at Dx on 12/30/08
PSA 9/05 1.15; 8/06 1.45; 12/07 2.41; 8/08 3.9; 11/08 3.5 free PSA 11%
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4) and (4+5)
Negative CT scan and bone scan done on 1/16
Robotic surgery performed 2/9/09 Dr Fagin, Austin TX
Prostate weighed 57 grams size:5.2 x 5.0 x 4.9 cm
Posterior lateral lesions measuring 1.5 x 1.4 x 1.0 cm showing focal capsular penetration over a distance of 3mm in circumference.
Prostatic adenocarciroma accounts for approx. 10-20% of the hemisphere.
Gleason 4+4
both nerve bundles removed,
pT3a Nx Mx, Negative margins
seminal vesicles clean, lymph nodes: not dissected
continent after 5 months
2 months PSA test 4/7/09 result <0.1
5 months PSA test 7/9/09 result <0.1
8 months PSA test 10/9/09 result <0.1
11 months PSA test 1/21/10 result 0.004
14 months PSA test 4/19/10 result 0.005

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3596
   Posted 8/6/2010 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
So I guess we don't even have to ask if taking these pills everyday if you already have been diagnosed is a waste of time and money...
Age today: 68. Married, 6', 215 pounds, active, no health issues.
PSA at age 55: 3.5, DRE negative. Advice, "Keep an eye on it".
PSA at age 58: 4.5
PSA at age 61: 5.2
PSA at age 64: 7.5, DRE "Abnormal"
PSA at age 65: 8.5, DRE " normal", biopsy, 12 core, negative...
PSA at age 66 9.0 DRE "normal", BPH, Finesteride. (Proscar)
PSA at age 67 4.5 DRE "normal" second biopsy, negative.
PSA at age 67.5 5.6, DRE "normal" U-doc worried..
PSA at age 68, 7.0, third biopsy positive for cancer in 4 cores, 3 cores Gleason 6, one core Gleason 9. Finesteride discontinued, still no urinary symptoms, never had any..From age 55 to 65 I had no health insurance.

I have a date with the robo surgeon on Sept 3 but I'm keeping my options open. I'm also looking at seeds combined with IGRT which seems to be having good results with high-risk patients..

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25355
   Posted 8/6/2010 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   

Good post. This is exactly what my own medical team has been telling me for years, especially my PCP. All 3 radiation oncologists told me the same thing, as did my former medical oncologist. None of those things are going to prevent cancer, and none of them are going to slow it down if you have cancer. As my PCP says, all men are doing is producing expensive urine. These larger studies have proven this view time after time.

All I take is 2-500mg Vitamin C pills a day, per my Uro (and he's very anti supplement). The Vit C changes the acidity in my bladder, and since I am on a long term catheter, its been proven to help count down UTI's by making the bladder too hostile to grow them.

I see no harm in taking a general purpose Multi Vitamin as suggested, but I don't even do that.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, next one: Aug 3
Latest:  7/9 cath #6 - 41 days, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 - 38 days, mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12 ,Cath #11 - 21 days,  Cath #12 - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, Cath #13 - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 31 days, Cath #17 - 39 days, 7/2 - Corr Surgery #6, Cath #18 - 13 days, Cath #19 - 17 days, Total Blockage, Cath # 20 - 7/19

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 644
   Posted 8/23/2010 12:03 AM (GMT -6)   
There is some good evidence that vitamin D-3 is helpful both for prevention and for slowing spread.

Here is a link to a very thorough summary of all the diet and supplements research, compiled for a urological oncology center associated with University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.

Here's a video presentation that covers the same ground, without all the detail and footnotes.
DX 10/2009
Robotic assisted RP 2/2010
Pathology: pT2c / Gleeson 3+4 / margins neg. / seminal ves neg. / capsule confined /
PSA - Pre-op 5.6 / last post-op 0.01

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1011
   Posted 8/23/2010 5:32 AM (GMT -6)   
The study noted above is focused on anti-oxidents in the form of vit E and selenium. In addition to vit D, I believe that there are well documented studies that show that pomeganet and lycopene inhibit the progression of prostate cancer.
Dx with PC Dec 2008 at 56, PSA 3.4

Biopsy: T1c, Geason 7 (3+4) - 8 cores taken with 4 positive for PCa, 30% of all 4 cores.

Robotic Surgery March 2009 Hartford Hospital, Dr Wagner
Pathology Report: T2c, Geason 8, organ confined, negitive margins, lymph nodes negitive - tumor volume 9%
nerves spared, no negitive side effects of surgery

One night in hospital, back to work in 3 weeks

psa Jun 09 <.01
psa Oct 09 <.01
psa Jan 10 .07 re-test one week later .05
psa Mar 10 .28 re-test two weeks later .31
psa May 10 .50

April 10 MRI and Bone Scan show lesion on lower spine, false positive.

Started HT 5/25/10 with 3 month shot of Trelstar. SRT scheduled for late July

psa July 10 <.01 HT at work

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 210
   Posted 8/23/2010 6:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Healthy diet with lots of water, raw veggies and fruit, and a good amount of exercise. And hope for the best....IMHO.
Easier said than done, I know. It's a lifestyle, and if you can pull it off, it is very rewarding, not in terms of cancer, etc., but in how you feel day to day.
Father 65 y/o at diagnosis November 2009
Gleason 9 & 10, stage 3 - seminal vesicle involvement
Two TURPs mid Nov. 2009
Foley Catheter
Casodex for last two weeks of November '09, then Lupron.
Suprapubic Catheter March 18th, but blocked right away, back to Foley...
Started IMRT March 25th, Chemo on hold due to catheter bleeding issues, etc.
Ended IMRT and Chemo (Taxotere) late May
Mid-July - pain finally better controlled with Fentanyl patch
Late July - Superpubic Cath. removed, peeing normal again
July 21 - PSA .21

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3771
   Posted 8/23/2010 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   

i don't care what any study says.  daily i take a multiple vitamin, a calcium supplement and a 1000mg pomergranite extract pill (POM).  my daily supplements cost about as much as a cheap cup of joe and give me peace of mind (just a little cool ).


age: 55
PSA on 10/09: 6.8
no symptoms, no prostate enlargement
12/12 cores positive....gleason 3+4 = 7
ADT, brachy and IGRT

Post Edited (F8) : 8/23/2010 10:02:49 AM (GMT-6)

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