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December 13, 2021 4:28 pm

Citrus Pectin Therapy Could Halt Progression of Relapsed Prostate Cancer, Israeli Study Shows

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Orange trees in Israel’s northern Galilee region. Photo: פואד מועדי / Wikimedia Commons

An Israeli study treating patients with relapsed, non-metastatic prostate cancer using pectin from citrus fruits has shown “promising” results in stabilizing progression of the disease.

According to results of the Phase 2 clinical trial, in 78 percent of the patients treated with the modified citrus pectin, or Pectasol, stabilization was achieved after six months — meaning that only 22 percent showed disease progression.

“Without treatment, 80 percent of the eligible patients for this study would continue to demonstrate evidence of progression at 6 months. With over 207,000 newly diagnosed cases in the US annually, prostate cancer is the second most widespread cancer in men in the US,” according to the study, led by Dr. Daniel Keizman, Head, of the Genitourinary Oncology Unit at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

The dietary supplement Pectasol is derived from the pith of citrus fruit peels and is an orally administered inhibitor of galectin-3 (Gal-3), a carbohydrate-binding protein involved in cancer development. The findings of the study were published in the peer-reviewed Nutrients journal.

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Though localized treatments often cure patients with localized disease, researchers said, about 30 percent relapse at ten years — an outcome that has so far evaded effective treatment.

“The present study suggests that modified citrus pectin in BRPC [biochemically relapsed prostate cancer] has a potential benefit and is safe, as evident in lower than expected rates of disease progression compared to historical data, and no significant toxicity,” it was concluded.

Participants in the trial had previously undergone tumor treatments including surgery and radiation and were recruited from five medical centers in Israel. The sixty enrolled patients were given treatment doses three times a day for a period of six months.

Researchers said that further testing evaluating other disease endpoints was called for, that a phase 3, randomized study for the pectic treatment was already in the offing.

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