What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What are PC-SPES?

PC-SPES was, ostensibly, a formulation of eight natural products (seven herbs and one mushroom): Isatis indigotica, Glycyrrhiza glabra ( licorice ), Panax pseudo-ginseng, Ganoderma lucidium ( reishi mushroom ), Scutellaria baicalensis , Dendranthema morifolium, Robdosia rubescens, and Serenoa repens ( saw palmetto ).

The name PC-SPES was derived from the common abbreviation for prostate cancer (PC) and the Latin word spesmeaning hope. After its commercial launch in 1996, PC-SPES received considerable interest from the general public and reputable medical researchers as a treatment for prostate cancer. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a fraud.

PC-SPES was not truly a purely herbal product; samples dating back to 1996 were found to contain a form of...

The only proposed use of PC-SPES was the treatment of prostate cancer. The formulation was tried at various stages of the disease, and preliminary research indicated that it had potential, particularly for treating prostate cancer that is no longer responsive to hormone therapies. Benefits were reported in the two main types of prostate cancer: hormone-sensitive and hormone-insensitive cancer. However, when the covert addition of pharmaceuticals was discovered, interest in this "herbal" combination ended.

Safety Issues

Note:Due to the presence of unlisted pharmaceuticals, PC-SPES should not be used.

It's no surprise that side effects of PC-SPES closely resemble those of estrogen when taken by men for the treatment of prostate cancer; 1 it may cause breast or nipple tenderness or swelling, loss of body hair, hot flashes, and loss of libido. Some individuals have also reported leg cramps, nausea and vomiting, and blood clots in the legs. 2 Side effects of PC-SPES increase with dosage.

There is one case report of PC-SPES taken at twice the recommended dose causing internal bleeding, presumably due to the presence of warfarin (Coumadin), a strong blood thinner. 3