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

  • PC-SPES is a mixture of 8 herbs that was sold as a dietary supplement to keep the prostate healthy (see Question 1).
  • Some batches of PC-SPES were found to contain prescription medicines. It was taken off the market and is no longer being made (see Question 1).
  • Herbs in PC-SPES have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many health problems, including prostate problems, for hundreds of years (see Question 2).
  • The herbs used in PC-SPES have been reported to help keep cancer cells from growing or help prevent cell damage that can lead to cancer (see Question 3).
  • Laboratory and animal studies suggested that PC-SPES might slow the growth of prostate cancer cells, but it is not known if these results were caused by the herbs in PC-SPES, prescription medicines that were found in the mixture, or both (see Question 5).
  • Clinical trials suggested that PC-SPES lowers PSA (prostate specific antigen) and testosterone levels in humans and has some anticancer effects. It is not known if these results were caused by the herbs in PC-SPES, prescription medicines that were found in the mixture, or both (see Question 6).
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved PC-SPES for use in cancer treatment (see Question 8).
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 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.
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