Foxglove drug may cut prostate cancer risk for men

Baltimore:  A drug made from foxgloves could help prevent prostate cancer, US researchers have found.


foxglove.jpgCalled digoxin is already used to treat congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms. But scientists from the John Hopkins University in Baltimore have found that it lowered the risk of prostate cancer by 24 per cent by stopping the growth of the disease.

The team looked at the medical reports of 47,000 men, aged 40 to 75 who were monitored from 1986 to 2006. Men who regularly took the drug – 2% – reduced their risk by 24%.   But the scientists emphasised that there was no proof that it prevents the disease, they said in the Cancer Discovery Journal.

Giving it to healthy people as a preventative measure would not be an option since it does have serious side-effects including nausea, headaches and male breast enlargement.

Scientists began by screening more than 3,000 compounds already approved for medical use to see if any inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells.


A team of epidemiologists then looked for evidence of the drug combating prostate cancer in the patient health study. Among the group, around 5,000 new cases of prostate cancer were reported.

Using digoxin for more than 10 years cut the risk of prostate cancer by half. Work will continue to discover the mechanism of digoxin’s effect and see whether the drug or others like it should be tested as prostate cancer treatments.

Digoxin alters biological pathways for sodium and potassium in heart cells. Scientists believe it may act on similar pathways in prostate cancer cells

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Raise money for men’s health charity – banish the grey!

home_logo.gifLondon: Banish grey for a day and raise money for the UK men’s health campaigners, The Prostate Cancer Charity.

The old adage ‘you’re only as old as you feel’ might be a nice thought, but unfortunately our looks often let us down. With life sometimes becoming grey, dull and mundane, an injection of colour is just what’s needed to stop the tedium setting in. Offering just such a solution is Grey-Away Day.
Whereas women are very vocal about ‘refreshing’ their looks, men tend to shy away from physical self-improvement (or at least they are more bashful about it!). But all that is set to change thanks to Grey-Away Day, an initiative just for men, that will encourage men across the country to banish their grey and lead a more colourful life.
The campaign will give men a better reason than ever to colour their hair. In the run up to Grey-Away Day (September 24th) men will be encouraged to seek sponsorship from their friends, family and work colleagues to return their hair to its natural colour, and in the process 20p from all boxes of Just For Men sold during September will be donated to The Prostate Cancer Charity, the UK’s leading charity working with people affected by the disease.
With over 25 million men in the UK and 28% sporting significant grey hair, it is about time men took on the challenge to look as young as they feel. With 2 million boxes of Just For Men hair colourant sold in the UK, there is already a large following, and this campaign hopes to encourage men to reach for the bottle to embrace a fresher look and reveal the person they feel they are.
To find out more about the campaign just for men, or to sponsor a friend or loved one, please visit <a href=””></a> or join us on Twitter <a href=””></a> and Facebook <a href=””></a>
<b>About The Prostate Cancer Charity</b>
The Charity is fighting prostate cancer on every front – through research, support, information and campaigning.

Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK.
36,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and one man dies of prostate cancer every hour in the UK.
The Charity provides the UK’s only nurse led prostate cancer helpline, helping men and their families to access support and information through its confidential helpline, 0800 074 8383. 

Beer raises prostate cancer risk


Sydney: Just one pint of beer daily raises prostate cancer risk, according to Australian researchers.

They found two or more drinks a day increased the likelihood of developing the disease by 20 per cent – well below most healthy drinking guidelines.

Scientists at Curtin University in Australia say their review of 35 studies looking at the relationship between drinking levels and the risk of prostate cancer, was large enough to confirm a link.

At the same time moderate drinking in older men is thought to offer protection from heart disease.

The review, published in the journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, included all studies published in or before 2006.

It reveals that heavier drinkers, which is judged at 14 or more drinks weekly, are about 20 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer.

Herbal pill may protect against prostate cancer

New York: A pill containing olive oil and herbs could protect men from developing prostate cancer, according to scientists at Columbia University in the US.

The results of a trial, published in the medical journal Nutrition And Cancer, appear to confirm he herbal mixture has powerful anti-cancer properties. It was found that the supplement reduced the rate at which cancer cells grow and spread in the prostate by about 80 per cent.

Called Zyflamend, the supplement is based on olive oil and ten different herbs. It is already widely used as an alternative to prescription drugs in conditions such as arthritis. This is because it appears to reduce inflammation that causes painful, swollen joints.

Available through health food suppliers and costing around £25 for 60 capsules, Zyflamend attracted the attention of researchers at Columbia University after tests showed it stopped cancer cells multiplying.

But after testing the pill on almost 50 men, the team admitted they had not expected it to have such a potent effect.

‘These results were particularly surprising and show greater promise in the fight against prostate cancer,’ said Dr Debra Bemis, who led the study.

‘We hope the benefits shown will be confirmed in a larger scale trial already in progress.’

The disease is on the increase and although genetics are known to be a factor, studies show vegetarians are half as likely to get it as meat-eaters.

Treatments include surgery to remove the prostate, radiotherapy to kill cancer cells or hormone therapy, where testosterone levels in the body are reduced in order to starve the tumour.

In the search for ways to prevent the disease, most research has concentrated on lycopene — a substance found in tomatoes and shown to halt tumour growth.

But last year, the Columbia University team set up the first clinical trial to investigate the effects of Zyflamend.

The supplement includes concentrated extracts from a range of common herbs and spices, such as turmeric, ginger, rosemary and oregano. Other ingredients include green tea extracts, a type of basil found only in India and herbs from Japan and China.

Several ingredients have been found to block the effects of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2, or COX-2. This is responsible for triggering inflammation throughout the body in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.

Some experts believe it is also implicated in the development of certain cancers.

The U.S. researchers studied the herbal pill’s effects by looking at what impact it had on a condition called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, or PIN.

This is where the top layers of cells of the prostate start to divide more rapidly than usual.

It’s a pre-cancerous state that greatly increases the chances of a man going on to develop a tumour. A man with PIN has a 50 to 70 per cent chance of getting cancer.

Tests showed that the supplement dramatically slowed the rate at which pre-cancerous cells grew.

Dr Bemis said: ‘Zyflamend has shown an ability to reduce cancer cell proliferation by as much as 78 per cent, and to induce cancer cell death. These results are exceptionally promising.’

Arthritis link to lack of vital mineral

New York: US researchers have shown that shortage of a mineral is linked to knee arthritis.

Selenium, which occurs naturally in the soil and found in brazil nuts, shellfish, tuna, wholegrains and eggs, is believed to have anti-ageing properties and has been shown to protect men against prostate cancer.

The US study of 940 volunteers found that even tiny amounts of the mineral could protect against knee arthritis. For every additional tenth of a part per million of selenium in participants’ bodies, there was a 15% to 20% reduction in risk.

Those who had less of the mineral than normal in their systems faced a higher risk of osteoarthritis in one or both knees. The severity of disease was related to how low the selenium levels were.

Study leader Dr Joanne Jordan, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said: “We are very excited about these findings because no one had ever measured body selenium in this way in relationship to osteoarthritis.

“Our results suggest that we might be able to prevent or delay osteoarthritis of the knees and possibly other joints in some people if they are not getting enough selenium. That’s important because the condition, which makes walking painful, is the leading cause of activity limitation among adults in developed countries.”

Volunteers were enrolled into the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project, a continuing investigation of the disabling condition that was launched 15 years ago. It was the experience of people in severely selenium-deficient areas of China that led Dr Jordan to suspect that the mineral might play a role in preventing osteoarthritis.

In those regions, people frequently develop Kashin-Beck disease, which causes joint problems relatively early in life. Dr Jordan’s team compared the extent of knee osteoarthritis shown on X-rays with the amount of selenium in each volunteer’s body. Selenium was measured in toenail clippings taken from the participants. “We found that when we divided the participants into three groups, those with the highest selenium levels faced a 40% lower risk of knee osteoarthritis than those in the lowest-selenium group,” said Dr Jordan.

Hormone drug increases prostate cancer survival

Paris : A hormone drug, Casodex, increases the chances of men surviving prostate cancer by more than a third, according to a new study.

In the Early Prostate Cancer Study it was shown that Casodex made by the drug company AstraZeneca, delays progression of the cancer for up to three years and reduces the risk of it spreading to the bones by a third. If it combined with radiotherapy, patients have a 35 per cent better chance of survival.

Casodex works by starving the cancer of testosterone by stopping the hormone reaching it.

Until now some doctors have been reluctant to use such treatments, partly because surgery and radiotherapy were seen as more effective. Doctors said the drug is as effective as radical surgery or taking medicines that block the production of testosterone completely.