Background: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is still a challenge to manage for all physicians. We feel that a summary of the current literature and a systematic review to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of flower pollen extract would be helpful for physicians who are considering a phytotherapeutic approach to treating patients with CP/CPPS.
Methods: A comprehensive search of the PubMed and Embase databases up to June 2016 was performed. This comprehensive analysis included both pre-clinical and clinical trials on the role of flower pollen extract in CP/CPPS patients. Moreover, a meta-analysis of available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was performed. The NIH Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) and Quality of Life related questionnaires (QoL) were the most commonly used tools to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of pollen extract.
Results: Pre-clinical studies demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative role of pollen extract. 6 clinical, non-controlled studies including 206 patients, and 4 RCTs including 384 patients were conducted. The mean response rate in non-controlled studies was 83.6% (62.2%-96.0%). The meta-analysis revealed that flower pollen extract could significantly improve patients' quality of life [OR 0.52 (0.34-.0.81); p = 0.02]. No significant adverse events were reported.
Conclusion: Most of these studies presented encouraging results in terms of variations in NIH-CPSI and QoL scores. These studies suggest that the use of flower pollen extract for the management of CP/CPPS patients is beneficial. Future publications of robust evidence from additional RCTs and longer-term follow-up would provide more support encouraging the use of flower pollen extracts for CP/CPPS patients.
Keywords: Chronic pelvic pain syndrome; Chronic prostatitis symptom index; Inflammatory chronic pelvic pain syndrome; Pollen extract; Prostatitis syndrome.