Data from the Columbia University Department of Urology demonstrates that Zyflamend, a unique herbal extract preparation, suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells and induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct via a process called "apoptosis."
The data, published in the October edition of Nutrition and Cancer, showed Zyflamend, a patented formulation from New Chapter, has the ability, in vitro, to reduce prostate cancer cell proliferation by as much as 78 percent and to induce cancer cell death or apoptosis.
The research confirms Zyflamend has COX-1 and COX-2 anti-inflammatory effects, although its anti-cancer affects against prostate cancer were independent of COX-2 inhibition, supporting the postulation that some prostate cancer cells are not affected by COX-2 inflammation.
"These results were particularly surprising and show great promise in the fight against prostate cancer," said researcher Dr. Debra L. Bemis of the Columbia University Department of Urology. "We hope that the magnitude of benefits shown in this research will be confirmed in the larger scale trial already in progress."
Based on this research, Zyflamend shows value in early therapy for prostate cancer patients. COX inhibitors have also shown value for prostate cancer patients, but data from recent trials of selective COX-2 inhibitors such as sulindac (Clinoril) and celecoxib (Celebrex), suggest that use of these drugs might have adverse cardiovascular effects. The more widely utilized general COX inhibitor, aspirin, is not associated with these negative side effects and, instead, has well-established beneficial effects for individuals with cardiovascular disease. Zyflamend has a biochemical action profile that resembles aspirin more than these selective COX-2 inhibitors.
Dr. Bemis added: "Zyflamend is derived from natural herbal sources and is readily available in health food and nutritional supplement stores. Given the impressive data we're reporting, Zyflamend is a potentially more convenient and desirable means to target the enormous population that is susceptible to prostate cancer."
On the strength of this laboratory research, Columbia University's Department of Urology has commenced a Phase 1 human clinical trial testing Zyflamend's ability to prevent prostate cancer in patients with prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).
PIN is a clinical precursor for prostate cancer. Without intervention, men diagnosed with PIN have a 50 to 70 percent likelihood of developing prostate cancer. Although there are tools that detect the early signs of prostate cancer, such as PIN or elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, there is no consensus as to the optimal therapy for these patients.
"We are very encouraged about the early results of this phase 1 trial," said Aaron E. Katz, M.D., associate professor of urology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Director of the Center of Holistic Urology at Columbia University Medical Center and principal investigator of the study.
"We are encouraged that this study provides additional scientific evidence that specific herbal preparations can produce a positive impact on prostate health," said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the non-profit American Botanical Council. "With so many people using herbal supplements for their health, new research documenting their safety and benefits is encouraged and welcomed."