Skip to content

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

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

continued...

Exactly how PC-SPES works in the body is still unknown. The presence of adulterants and varying amounts of the active agents in each lot of PC-SPES complicates the interpretation of any results from studies that might lead to an explanation of its mechanisms of action. More studies of the individual components of the mixture and testing of a standard formulation that is free of adulterants are needed before any conclusions can be reached about the level of cytotoxicity, antineoplasticity, or estrogenicity of PC-SPES.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) stopped funding to studies of PC-SPES after the drug contamination was detected and made public, although the laboratory studies were later resumed.

Although manufacturers are selling supplements purporting to be substitutes, the only company that had a license from the patent holder to manufacture PC-SPES is no longer in business, and the product cannot be legally manufactured in the United States without the patent holder's permission. PC-SPES is not legally available in the United States.

References:

  1. Huang KC, Williams WM: The Pharmacology of Chinese Herbs. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, Fl: CRC Press, 1998.
  2. Zhu YP: Chinese Materia Medica: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Applications. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Harwood Academic, 1998.
  3. Halicka HD, Ardelt B, Juan G, et al.: Apoptosis and cell cycle effects induced by extracts of the Chinese herbal preparation PC SPES. Int J Oncol 11: 437-48, 1997.
  4. Hsieh T, Chen SS, Wang X, et al.: Regulation of androgen receptor (AR) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) expression in the androgen-responsive human prostate LNCaP cells by ethanolic extracts of the Chinese herbal preparation, PC-SPES. Biochem Mol Biol Int 42 (3): 535-44, 1997.
  5. Chenn S: In vitro mechanism of PC SPES. Urology 58 (2 Suppl 1): 28-35; discussion 38, 2001.
  6. Hsieh TC, Wu JM: Mechanism of action of herbal supplement PC-SPES: elucidation of effects of individual herbs of PC-SPES on proliferation and prostate specific gene expression in androgen-dependent LNCaP cells. Int J Oncol 20 (3): 583-8, 2002.
  7. Chen S, Ruan Q, Bedner E, et al.: Effects of the flavonoid baicalin and its metabolite baicalein on androgen receptor expression, cell cycle progression and apoptosis of prostate cancer cell lines. Cell Prolif 34 (5): 293-304, 2001.
  8. Kubota T, Hisatake J, Hisatake Y, et al.: PC-SPES: a unique inhibitor of proliferation of prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo . Prostate 42 (3): 163-71, 2000.
  9. Darzynkiewicz Z, Traganos F, Wu JM, et al.: Chinese herbal mixture PC SPES in treatment of prostate cancer (review). Int J Oncol 17 (4): 729-36, 2000.
  10. Marks LS, DiPaola RS, Nelson P, et al.: PC-SPES: herbal formulation for prostate cancer. Urology 60 (3): 369-75; discussion 376-7, 2002.
  11. Pirani JF: The effects of phytotherapeutic agents on prostate cancer: an overview of recent clinical trials of PC SPES. Urology 58 (2 Suppl 1): 36-8, 2001.
  12. Huerta S, Arteaga JR, Irwin RW, et al.: PC-SPES inhibits colon cancer growth in vitro and in vivo. Cancer Res 62 (18): 5204-9, 2002.
  13. Schwarz RE, Donohue CA, Sadava D, et al.: Pancreatic cancer in vitro toxicity mediated by Chinese herbs SPES and PC-SPES: implications for monotherapy and combination treatment. Cancer Lett 189 (1): 59-68, 2003.
  14. Chan FL, Choi HL, Chen ZY, et al.: Induction of apoptosis in prostate cancer cell lines by a flavonoid, baicalin. Cancer Lett 160 (2): 219-28, 2000.
  15. Okita K, Li Q, Murakamio T, et al.: Anti-growth effects with components of Sho-saiko-to (TJ-9) on cultured human hepatoma cells. Eur J Cancer Prev 2 (2): 169-75, 1993.
  16. Matsuzaki Y, Kurokawa N, Terai S, et al.: Cell death induced by baicalein in human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. Jpn J Cancer Res 87 (2): 170-7, 1996.
  17. Kimura Y, Matsushita N, Okuda H: Effects of baicalein isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis on interleukin 1 beta- and tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced adhesion molecule expression in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells. J Ethnopharmacol 57 (1): 63-7, 1997.
  18. Hsieh TC, Lu X, Chea J, et al.: Prevention and management of prostate cancer using PC-SPES: a scientific perspective. J Nutr 132 (11 Suppl): 3513S-3517S, 2002.
  19. Ikezoe T, Chen SS, Heber D, et al.: Baicalin is a major component of PC-SPES which inhibits the proliferation of human cancer cells via apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Prostate 49 (4): 285-92, 2001.
  20. Hsu SL, Hsieh YC, Hsieh WC, et al.: Baicalein induces a dual growth arrest by modulating multiple cell cycle regulatory molecules. Eur J Pharmacol 425 (3): 165-71, 2001.
  21. Gao Z, Huang K, Yang X, et al.: Free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities of flavonoids extracted from the radix of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. Biochim Biophys Acta 1472 (3): 643-50, 1999.
  22. Armanini D, Bonanni G, Palermo M: Reduction of serum testosterone in men by licorice. N Engl J Med 341 (15): 1158, 1999.
  23. Rafi MM, Vastano BC, Zhu N, et al.: Novel polyphenol molecule isolated from licorice root (Glycrrhiza glabra) induces apoptosis, G2/M cell cycle arrest, and Bcl-2 phosphorylation in tumor cell lines. J Agric Food Chem 50 (4): 677-84, 2002.
  24. Rafi MM, Rosen RT, Vassil A, et al.: Modulation of bcl-2 and cytotoxicity by licochalcone-A, a novel estrogenic flavonoid. Anticancer Res 20 (4): 2653-8, 2000 Jul-Aug.
  25. Wang ZY, Nixon DW: Licorice and cancer. Nutr Cancer 39 (1): 1-11, 2001.
  26. Bao XF, Wang XS, Dong Q, et al.: Structural features of immunologically active polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum. Phytochemistry 59 (2): 175-81, 2002.
  27. Chen WC, Hau DM, Lee SS: Effects of Ganoderma lucidum and krestin on cellular immunocompetence in gamma-ray-irradiated mice. Am J Chin Med 23 (1): 71-80, 1995.
  28. Hsu HY, Lian SL, Lin CC: Radioprotective effect of Ganoderma lucidum (Leyss. ex. Fr.) Karst after X-ray irradiation in mice. Am J Chin Med 18 (1-2): 61-9, 1990.
  29. Lee JM, Kwon H, Jeong H, et al.: Inhibition of lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage by Ganoderma lucidum. Phytother Res 15 (3): 245-9, 2001.
  30. Marko D, Schätzle S, Friedel A, et al.: Inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) by indirubin derivatives in human tumour cells. Br J Cancer 84 (2): 283-9, 2001.
  31. Liu WK, Xu SX, Che CT: Anti-proliferative effect of ginseng saponins on human prostate cancer cell line. Life Sci 67 (11): 1297-306, 2000.
  32. Yun TK, Lee YS, Lee YH, et al.: Anticarcinogenic effect of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer and identification of active compounds. J Korean Med Sci 16 (Suppl): S6-18, 2001.
  33. Surh YJ, Na HK, Lee JY, et al.: Molecular mechanisms underlying anti-tumor promoting activities of heat-processed Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer. J Korean Med Sci 16 (Suppl): S38-41, 2001.
  34. Ukiya M, Akihisa T, Tokuda H, et al.: Constituents of Compositae plants III. Anti-tumor promoting effects and cytotoxic activity against human cancer cell lines of triterpene diols and triols from edible chrysanthemum flowers. Cancer Lett 177 (1): 7-12, 2002.
  35. Jing JY, Reed E: Preliminary study of the effect of selected Chinese natural drugs on human ovarian cancer cells. Oncol Rep 2: 571-5, 1995.
  36. Marks LS, Hess DL, Dorey FJ, et al.: Tissue effects of saw palmetto and finasteride: use of biopsy cores for in situ quantification of prostatic androgens. Urology 57 (5): 999-1005, 2001.
  37. Di Silverio F, D'Eramo G, Lubrano C, et al.: Evidence that Serenoa repens extract displays an antiestrogenic activity in prostatic tissue of benign prostatic hypertrophy patients. Eur Urol 21 (4): 309-14, 1992.
  38. Di Silverio F, Monti S, Sciarra A, et al.: Effects of long-term treatment with Serenoa repens (Permixon) on the concentrations and regional distribution of androgens and epidermal growth factor in benign prostatic hyperplasia. Prostate 37 (2): 77-83, 1998.
  39. Iguchi K, Okumura N, Usui S, et al.: Myristoleic acid, a cytotoxic component in the extract from Serenoa repens, induces apoptosis and necrosis in human prostatic LNCaP cells. Prostate 47 (1): 59-65, 2001.
  40. Wilt T, Ishani A, Mac Donald R: Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (3): CD001423, 2002.

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|2|3
1|2|3
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
Do you know the symptoms?
 
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