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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dietary Supplements >>  PC-SPES


PC-SPES is a product by BotanicLab with herbal combination used mainly for prostate cancer treatment until early 2002. PC SPES     was observed to reduce evidence of metastatic disease, reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, diminish pain and improve quality of life in prostate cancer patients. This was observed by major U.S. cancer centers. However this product should not be used and is recalled from the U.S. market.
This is because the product contained anticoagulant warfarin (blood thinner), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, indomethacin the synthetic estrogen diethystilbesterol (DES) and the estrogen ethinyl estradiol.   PC-SPES produced at different times may not be comparable or equivalent and the anti-cancer effects of the product may be due to the undeclared drug ingredients in it.

The product is based on Chinese herbal combination and seven herbs are officially mentioned on the product namely Serenoa repens  (saw palmetto)  Chrysanthemum  morifolium  (chrysanthemum, mum, Chu-hua);  Glycyrrhiza glabra  (licorice);  Ganoderma lucidum  (reishi mushroom, Ling Zhi);  Panax pseudo-ginseng  (San Qi);  Isatis indigotica  Fort (Da Qing Ye, dyer's wood);   Rabdosia rubescens  (rubescens, Dong Ling Cao); and  Scutellaria baicalensis  (skullcap, Huang-chin). Diethylstilbestrol, indomethacin, and warfarin and several natural products have been found in some PC-SPES preparations.

Health and PC-SPES

  1. PC-SPES have reported improvements in patients with prostate cancer; both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent. Patients treated with PC-SPES showed reduced PSA levels, improvement in bone scans and X-rays, reduced pain and improvement in general quality of life.
  2. PC-SPES may have estrogen like effects due to the undeclared drug in its composition.
  3. Different lots of PC-SPES produced from 1996 to 2001 had different ingredients and composition; this raised a question on the effectiveness of the studies carried out for PC-SPES. Also because of this composition confusion PC-SPES was never been compared with placebo or standard cancer treatments in the studies.
  4. Due to this unclear state and for theoretical safety concerns this product should not be used by patients in general and the ones who posses it.

Side effects of PC-SPES

  1. PC-SPEC is been recalled from the market due to undeclared drug in the product.
  2. PC-SPES may increase the risk of blood clots; life threatening blood clots have been reported in lungs with its use.
  3. In contrast due to the presence of warfarin, cases of bleeding have also been reported. Thus patients with bleeding disorders or on medications for the same should not use this product.
  4. PC-SPES is also associated with breast enlargement, nipple/breast tenderness, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, hot flashes, leg cramps and edema.
  5. PC-SPES may have estrogen like effects and thus is not recommended in pregnancy and lactation as its safety and effectiveness is not well evaluated.
  6. This product may also interact with certain drugs, herbal and dietary supplements.
It is not safe to use PC-SPES in any indication and is been recalled from the U.S. market.

Submitted on January 16, 2014