Effects of homeopathic preparations on human prostate cancer growth in cellular and animal models.
Integr Cancer Ther. 2006 Dec;5(4):362-72. PMID: 17101766
The use of dietary supplements for various ailments enjoys unprecedented popularity. As part of this trend, Sabal serrulata (saw palmetto) constitutes the complementary treatment of choice with regard to prostate health. In homeopathy, Sabal serrulata is commonly prescribed for prostate problems ranging from benign prostatic hyperplasia to prostate cancer. The authors' work assessed the antiproliferative effects of homeopathic preparations of Sabal serrulata, Thuja occidentalis, and Conium maculatum, in vivo, on nude mouse xenografts, and in vitro, on PC-3 and DU-145 human prostate cancer as well as MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines. Treatment with Sabal serrulata in vitro resulted in a 33% decrease of PC-3 cell proliferation at 72 hours and a 23% reduction of DU-145 cell proliferation at 24 hours (P<.01). The difference in reduction is likely due to the specific doubling time of each cell line. No effect was observed on MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Thuja occidentalis and Conium maculatum did not have any effect on human prostate cancer cell proliferation. In vivo, prostate tumor xenograft size was significantly reduced in Sabal serrulata-treated mice compared to untreated controls (P=.012). No effect was observed on breast tumor growth. Our study clearly demonstrates a biologic response to homeopathic treatment as manifested by cell proliferation and tumor growth. This biologic effect was (i)significantly stronger to Sabal serrulata than to controls and (ii)specific to human prostate cancer. Sabal serrulata should thus be further investigated as a specific homeopathic remedy for prostate pathology.