Propolis slows growth of early-stage prostate cancer, researchers discover
Bee propolis, a common treatment for sore throats and allergies, slows the growth of prostate cancer cells, researchers have discovered.
A component of propolis – caffeic acid phenethyl ester, or CAPE – is effective in the cancer’s early stages by blocking the ability of cancerous cells to find sources of nutrition.
Although CAPE does not kill cancer, it stops prostate cancer from spreading, and will do so while the patient continues to take propolis, say researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine.
In a test with laboratory mice, the cancer stopped when they were given CAPE for six weeks, and resumed again immediately when treatment stopped.
The mice study followed successful laboratory tests with CAPE on cancer cells.
“If you feed CAPE to mice daily, their tumors will stop growing,” said Richard Jones, assistant professor in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research and Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, and a researcher on the study. “After several weeks, if you stop the treatment, the tumors will begin to grow again at their original pace. So it doesn’t kill the cancer, but it basically will indefinitely stop prostate cancer proliferation.”
However, before we get excited, I noted this quote in one report:
Jones noted more testing is needed to confirm CAPE is clinically effective against prostate and other cancers, but the challenge may be in getting funding for the trial; since the compound can’t be patented, drug companies are not likely to put dollars into advanced clinical research. “It’s a rare event that a drug that’s not put forth by a pharmaceutical company goes through a clinical trial, so we’ll see how that works,” Jones said.
That makes my blood boil. Either way, taking a good quality propolis might not be a bad strategy whilst we’re waiting for someone to stump up the money for further trials. Don’t hold your breath.
Source: Cancer Prevention Research, 2012; 5: 788 and WDDTY E News June 12