ASTRO LogoProstate cancer is said to be a kind of cancer that apparently develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. A study claims that prostate-specific nutritional supplements must not be consumed during radiation therapy treatments since they have supposedly shown to augment the radiosensitivity of normal prostate cell lines, thereby resulting in normal tissue complications.

Several prostate cancer patients prefer to consume dietary supplements to enhance or boost sexual potency and ease symptoms linked to poor prostate health. But a few studies exhibit that around half of prostate cancer patients seem to use an herbal or dietary supplement and majority of them apparently do so without talking about it with their doctor.

Scientists at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., wanted to find out if three commonly used commercial prostate-specific dietary supplements altered the radiosensitivity of usual prostate and/or androgen-positive and -negative prostate tumor cell lines. Apparently, there have been published reports of negative clinical effects for a few tumor sites from the use of particular dietary supplements following chemotherapy, but apparently the consequence of dietary supplements on radiation therapy treatments is not familiar.

The study authors discovered that the cell development and radiosensitivity of the malignant tumor cells were not believed to be impacted by any of the supplements, but two of the supplements appear to slow down the growth rate of the usual prostate cell lines while a third supplement also augmented the cellular radiosensitivity of some normal cell lines by stalling DNA repair.

Brian Marples, Ph.D., senior author of the study and a radiobiologist at William Beaumont Hospital and clinical research professor at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, commented, “Cancer patients turn to supplements to aid in their treatments for a variety of reasons, but this study proves that what some patients believe is helping them may actually be harming them.”

Brian Marples added that it is very important for all patients to discuss any type of supplement they may be taking with their physician and especially important for prostate cancer patients receiving radiation therapy as this study shows that it may be negatively affecting the effectiveness of their treatments.

The study was published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).