American Association for Cancer Research

AACR Press Releases

Green Tea Reduced Inflammation, May Inhibit Prostate Cancer Tumor Growth


October 18, 2012

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  • Serum PSA was lower in men assigned to green tea consumption.
  • Green tea could be preventive alternative for men under active surveillance.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Men with prostate cancer who consumed green tea prior to undergoing prostatectomy had reductions in markers of inflammation, according to data presented at the 11th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held here Oct. 16-19, 2012.

“Our study showed that drinking six cups of green tea affected biomarkers in prostate tissue at the time of surgery,” said Susanne M. Henning, Ph.D., R.D., adjunct professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. “This research offers new insights into the mechanisms by which green tea consumption may reduce the risk for prostate cancer by opposing processes such as inflammation, which are associated with prostate cancer growth.”

Prior epidemiological data have been inconclusive about the relationship between green tea and prostate cancer. However, one recent intervention study conducted in Italy revealed that men with a precursor to prostate cancer called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia who consumed a green tea extract reduced their risk for progression to prostate cancer.

Henning and colleagues examined potential mechanisms by which green tea may have beneficial effects among 67 men with prostate cancer scheduled to undergo prostatectomy. The researchers randomly assigned the men to either six cups of brewed green tea or water daily for three to eight weeks, depending on the timing of their surgery. They collected blood and urine samples before and after the green tea or water consumption and collected prostate tissue following the pathology exam.

The data showed that serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentrations were significantly lower at the end of the study compared with baseline levels in men consuming green tea. In addition, prostate tissue PSA protein expression was lower in men assigned to green tea consumption compared with the control group at the end of the study.

Further, immunostaining analysis revealed that nuclear factor kappa B, a marker of inflammation, was significantly reduced in those men assigned to green tea compared with those in the control group. A urinary marker of oxidative DNA damage was significantly decreased in urine from men consuming green tea compared with controls.

The researchers found no differences in markers of tumor cell proliferation between the two treatment groups.

Henning and her colleagues are further evaluating the association between green tea and prostate cancer by trying to enhance its activity. Currently, they are exploring the possibility of combining green tea with other natural products in mouse studies.  

Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health.

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About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 17,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the scientific partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of team science and individual grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer.

For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org.

Media Contact:
Jeremy Moore
(215) 446-7109
Jeremy.Moore@aacr.org
In Anaheim, Oct. 16-19:
(714) 740-4540