New Study: Oleocanthal and Prostate Cancer

New Study: Oleocanthal and Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer among elderly men worldwide, with one out of eight men in the United States diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, causing an estimated 34,000 deaths per year in the United States alone.

The most common prostate cancer metastatic sites (when the cancer has spread beyond the prostate) are bone, distant lymph nodes, liver, and thorax. Overall, 18.4% of cases have multiple metastatic sites involved. Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is the most aggressive and recurrent prostate cancer, which means that the prostate cancer has spread beyond the prostate and is no longer responsive to therapies. 

Despite recent progress being made in mCRPC therapies, these treatments lack curative efficacy, especially in mCRPC patients, and have poor overall survival rates. However, a recent study from the University of Louisiana may offer new hope. The study, done in mice, found oleocanthal from extra virgin olive oil to be a cost-effective and first-in-class lead for the control of mCRPC progression and recurrence. 

The study concluded that oleocanthal can potentially inhibit the growth and relapse of mCRPC in mice by suppressing the enzyme SMYD2 and its downstream substrates - which play a critical role in the progression of this aggressive prostate cancer type. 

The researchers found that oleocanthal’s anti-prostate cancer effect was superior and more prominent compared to some of the standard drugs currently used to control prostate cancer. One caveat is that the dose used was fairly high at a daily dosing regimen of 10 mg/kg body weight. Nevertheless, over 11 days of oral dosing, oleocanthal inhibited the progression of the mCRPC cells in mice by more than 83%. A 30-day continued oral oleocanthal dosing regimen after surgical removal of the mCRPC primary tumor prevented 100% of locoregional recurrence. Oleocanthal treatments also prevented mCRPC distant recurrences in the lung and kidney compared to the placebo control-treated group, and significantly suppressed the distant recurrence in the liver (1/5 versus 4/5 for placebo control) and the bones (1/5 versus 3/5 for placebo control) in the mice. 

Due to its long-term safety profile, high selectivity for malignant tumor cells, and low toxicity to non-cancerous cells, researchers of the study concluded that oleocanthal could be an appropriate dietary supplement for immediate use by prostate cancer patients (and survivors) either individually or in combination with standard prostate cancer therapies. However, the researchers did not address the dosing issue: while studies in mice often use a higher dosing than those found effective in humans, there is no guarantee that a lower dose obtained by consuming high-oleocanthal olive oil would be sufficient to provide similar results.

Read the full study here. 



Siddique, A. B. (2022, July 21). Oleocanthal Attenuates Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Progression and Recurrence by Targeting SMYD2. MDPI. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from

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