A new vitamin E treatment might be the key to improving survival rates of prostate cancer – the world’s most common cancer in developed nations.
Researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have discovered tocotrienol (T3), a constituent of vitamin E, which could significantly reduce the growth of prostate tumours.
Leading the team is Dr Patrick Ling, who was awarded funding and a further $128,000 to undertake the one-year study to investigate the effectiveness of T3 over the longterm in preventing the regrowth of treated prostate cancer tumours.
What was involved in the study?
In tests, it was found that the T3 constituent (known as gamma-tocotrienol yT3) stopped tumours forming in more than 70 per cent of mice fed the constituent and implanted with the cancer cells. Tumours reformed in 100 per cent of the control group of mice.
What does this mean?
Cancer treatments including chemotherapy and hormonal therapies are not seen as effective treatments in helping fight prostate cancer, as the treatments fail to attack prostate cancer stem cells, which cause tumour regrowth.
"Currently there is no effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer, because it grows back after conventional therapies in more than 70 per cent of cases," Dr Ling said.
"But with γ-T3, QUT researchers have found a better way to treat prostate cancer, which has the potential to inhibit recurrence of the disease."
In the next phrase of research, the long-term effectiveness of the y-T3 treatment will be studied. Clinical trials are expected to begin in the near future.
Who funded the research?
The research was funded by world-leading tocotrienol manufacturer Davos Life Science. The Singapore-based company produces γ-T3 from sustainable palm plantations.
Find out moreThe findings were published recently in the International Journal of Cancer.