Green Tea and Prostate Cancer
Another EGCG Miracle

A green tea and prostate cancer study shows that when used in conjunction with conventional treatment, it delivers more with fewer observed side effects.

If green tea lives up to its promise, cancer prevention may well become as simple as a cup of tea. Researchers found that it may be used to treat prostate cancer with fewer negative side effects of conventional treatment involving COX-2 inhibitors.

What Is COX-2?

Previous research has linked the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme, commonly known as COX-2, to many cancers. It is also commonly known under the brand name Celebrex™.

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin have previously shown that Celebrex suppresses prostate cancer in animals. However, they have been shown to cause adverse cardiovascular effects when administered at high doses over long durations.

“Celecoxib (COX-2) and green tea have a synergistic effect - each triggering cellular pathways that, combined, are more powerful than either agent alone,” said Hasan Mukhtar, Ph.D., professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin.

The Study

In a 2004 green tea and prostate cancer study, Mukhtar demonstrated that green tea polyphenol EGCG fights cancer by modulating the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which causes cancer cells to self-destruct in a process called apoptosis.

In his latest green tea and prostate research, Mukhtar repeated his experiment using EGCG and NS-398, another COX-2 inhibitor. Together, EGCG and NS-398 suppressed cell growth by an additional 15% to 28%.

In mice that were not treated with either substance, the tumour volume averaged 1,300 cubic millimeters.

Mice given either tea or celecoxib had tumours averaged 835 cubic millimeters and 650 cubic millimeters respectively.

Mice given both agents, however, averaged a volume of 350 cubic millimeters.


“Prostate cancer typically arises from more than one defect in the cellular mechanics, which means that a single therapeutic might not work in fighting a particular cancer long-term.”

“If tests in human trials replicate these results, we could see a powerful combined therapy that is both simple to administer and relatively cost effective.”

“We believed that COX-2 inhibitors may still prove beneficial if used in combination with complementary agents,”

“Our studies showed that the additive effect of green tea enables us to utilize the cancer-fighting abilities of COX-2 inhibitors, but at lower, safer dose.”

“We hope that a clinical trial could lead to a preventative treatment as simple as tea time.”


Media Release (01 March 2007). Green tea combined with low dose COX-2 inhibitors slows prostate cancer growth.

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