Skip to content

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

PC-SPES (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Overview

This complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) information summary provides an overview of the use of PC-SPES as a treatment in people with cancer. The summary includes a brief history of PC-SPES research, the results of clinical trials, and possible adverse effects of PC-SPES. Included in this summary is a discussion of the contamination of PC-SPES and its withdrawal from avenues of distribution.

This summary contains the following key information:

Recommended Related to Cancer

Overview

The main ingredient of 714-X is camphor, which comes from the wood and bark of the camphor tree (see Question 1). It is claimed that 714-X helps the immune system fight cancer (see Question 3). No study of 714-X has been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal to show it is safe or effective in treating cancer (see Question 6). 714-X is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States (see Question 8).

Read the Overview article > >

  • PC-SPES is a patented mixture of eight herbs.
  • PC-SPES was sold as a dietary supplement to support and promote healthy prostate function.
  • Each herb used in PC-SPES has been reported to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, or anticarcinogenic properties.
  • PC-SPES was recalled and withdrawn from the market because certain batches were contaminated with Food and Drug Administration–controlled prescription drugs.
  • The manufacturer is no longer in operation, and PC-SPES is no longer being made.
  • There is evidence from both laboratory and animal studies to suggest that PC-SPES had some effect in inhibiting prostate cancer cell growth and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) expression, but it is not known whether these results were caused by adulterants such as diethylstilbestrol, which is an estrogenic compound, the herbs in PC-SPES, or their combination.
  • Evidence from clinical trials has shown that PC-SPES lowers PSA and testosterone levels in humans, but it is not known whether these results were caused by adulterants, the herbs in PC-SPES, or their combination.
  • There is some evidence to suggest that PC-SPES has some anticancer effects that are not related to estrogen-like activity.
  • Although there are products that claim to be substitutes for PC-SPES, they are not the patented original formulation. Few of these products have been the subject of laboratory or clinical trials reported in the peer-reviewed medical literature.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: September 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Colorectal cancer cells
    A common one in both men and women.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
     
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    Ovarian cancer illustration
    Real Cancer Perspectives
     
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    Blog
    what is your cancer risk
    HEALTH CHECK
     
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    Video
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    prostate cancer overview
    SLIDESHOW
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
    Actor Michael Douglas
    Article