Green tea and prostate cancer: from bench to clinic

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2009 Jun 1;1:13-25. doi: 10.2741/s2.


Green tea, the most popular beverage next to water, is a rich source of tea catechins and has potential to be developed as a chemopreventive agent for prostate cancer. For centuries it has been used in traditional medicine in Far-East countries. Male populations in these countries where large quantities of green tea are consumed on regular basis have the lowest incidence of prostate cancer. In this review, after a description of prostate cancer and several risk factors associated with the disease, we evaluated studies reported with green tea or its major constituent, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate in inhibition of prostate cancer. This review provides an in-depth overview of various biochemical and signaling pathways affected by green tea in in vivo and in vitro models of prostate cancer. This is followed by a comprehensive discussion of the epidemiological studies and some ongoing clinical trials with green tea catechins. The review concludes with a brief discussion of the future direction and development of clinical trials employing green tea catechins which could be developed for prevention and/or intervention of prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry*
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate