Breaking News in Urology

May 22, 2000
Abstracted from Reuters, WSJ, and other sources

Chinese herbal compound,
a potent phyto-estrogen, in clinical trials

New Orleans, May 22 (Reuters) -- - In several studies presented here at the ASCO meetings, a herbal compound called PC-SPES---Prostate Cancer + Latin word for hope---significantly decreased prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in men who had prostate cancer, indicating that it could help fight the disease. The ASCO (American Society for Clinical Oncology) meeting is considered to be one of the most important cancer meetings of the year.

The studies were reported by Dr. Eric Small of the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. William Oh of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. Similar results were also reported earlier in the month by Dr. Alexander de la Taille et al of Columbia University, NYC at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association. These studies followed a 1998 publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, which first called attention to this extremely powerful herb compound.

PC-SPES contains 8 different herbs, which produce the net in vivo effect of a major phytoestrogenic substance. Both PSA and serum testosterone levels decline precipitously, and numerous estrogenic side effects are often encountered. The latter include breast swelling and tenderness, impotency and loss of libido, and thromboembolic phenomena. Several of the investigators commented that the blood clotting complication was potentially fatal and recommended the prophylactic use of anticoagulant medication for patients electing this therapy.

Of particular interest in the reports to date is the possibility that some cases of hormone-refractory prostate cancer may respond to the herbal compound. However, the situation calls for extreme "caveat emptor", as cited in an important editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The origin of PC-SPES is told in this excerpt from a recent Wall Street Journal article.

PC-SPES is available without a doctor's prescription from the manufacturer, BotanicLab of Brea, CA. Additional information about the product may be found on the "PC-SPES HOMEPAGE". The cost of the herb is from $300 - $500 per month

AND CAVEAT EMPTOR --- "Let the Buyer Beware"

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