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Saw Palmetto: Symptom Management for Men During Radiation Therapy

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Gwen Wyatt, Michigan State University Identifier:
First received: April 23, 2012
Last updated: September 18, 2015
Last verified: September 2015
The aim of this study is to test whether Saw Palmetto, is useful in preventing or reducing the side effects for men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Urinary symptoms will be recorded each week, as well as assessment of quality of life through: 1) Physical Well-Being 2) Social/Family Well-being 3) Emotional Well-Being, and 4) Functional Well-Being.

Condition Intervention Phase
Prostate Cancer
Drug: Saw Palmetto
Phase 1
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Saw Palmetto Use During Radiation Therapy for Symptom Management Among Prostate Cancer Patients

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Gwen Wyatt, Michigan State University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Feasibility [ Time Frame: Baseline to Week 12 ]
    Assess a Saw Palmetto supplementation protocol for feasibility by evaluation if at least 70% of eligible men consent, and if at least 70% of men enrolled at each dose complete the study.

  • Efficacy [ Time Frame: Baseline to Week 22 ]
    Evaluate preliminary efficacy of Saw Palmetto at the MTD as compared to the placebo group with respect to Health Related Quality of life (HRQOL) including physical functioning.

  • Safety [ Time Frame: Baseline to Week 22 ]
    Establishing the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) among 320mg, 640mg,or 960mg, at which less than 10% of men report less than a grade 2 of gastrointestinal symptoms. Also, by comparing PSA and blood chemistry levels at 6 weeks and post-Saw Palmetto treatment to the corresponding levels in the placebo group.

Estimated Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: October 2011
Primary Completion Date: April 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Saw Palmetto Soft Gel Drug: Saw Palmetto
either placebo (soybean oil soft gel) or 1 of 3 doses of Saw Palmetto (320, 640, 960mg/day)
Placebo Comparator: Soybean Oil Soft Gel Drug: Saw Palmetto
either placebo (soybean oil soft gel) or 1 of 3 doses of Saw Palmetto (320, 640, 960mg/day)

Detailed Description:

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) affect from 75-80% of men undergoing radiation therapy (RT) for prostate cancer. The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility, safety and efficacy of an inexpensive, non-toxic herbal supplement, Saw Palmetto, in treating these distressing symptoms.

This trial will use a two group randomized design: either placebo or 1 of 3 doses of Saw Palmetto (320, 640, 960mg/day) to determine the maximum therapeutic dose (MTD), and obtain preliminary evidence of efficacy. Within the Saw Palmetto arm, men will be allocated to 1 of the 3 the doses using the Time-to-Event Continual Reassessment Method and will continue with the same dose for the 12 week protocol.

Safety data will consist of the Common Terminology for Adverse Events criteria for nausea, gastritis, and anorexia. Efficacy of the MTD will be evaluated by weekly symptom data and voiding diary. A pill diary will be used to ensure intervention fidelity.

This study has the potential to reduce the incidence of LUTS for men during RT for cancer of the prostate and ultimately improve their quality of life during the acute phase of treatment.


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age 21 years or older
  • Adenocarcinoma of the prostate
  • Serum Prostate Specific Antigent (PSA) ≤ 40ng/ml
  • Combined Gleason Score ≤ 8
  • Karnofsky level of performance of > 70%
  • Consented to undergo definitive Radiation Therapy

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Stage T4 or M1
  • Patient using own supply of Saw Palmetto or any other supplement containing the following herbs: Pygeum (African Plum), Urtica Dioica (Stinging nettle), Cucurbita peponis (pumpkin seed), PC-SPES (combination of 8 herbs), Beta-sitsterol (plant sterols) or Cernilton (rye grass pollen).
  • Prior pelvic radiation therapy
  • Abnormality in liver and kidney function as evidenced by greater than twice the normal values of Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), serum creatine, serum transaminases, and alkaline phosphatase.
  • Uncontrolled hypertension despite use of antihypertensive medication
  • Presence of major psychiatric or medical illness (e.g., major cardiovascular events within the previous 12 months)
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01585246

United States, Michigan
Allegiance Health
Jackson, Michigan, United States, 49201
McLaren Greater Lansing
Lansing, Michigan, United States, 48910
Sparrow Cancer Center
Lansing, Michigan, United States, 48912
McLaren Macomb
Mount Clemens, Michigan, United States, 48043
McLaren Central Michigan
Mount Pleseant, Michigan, United States, 48858
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital
Pontiac, Michigan, United States, 48341
Sponsors and Collaborators
Michigan State University
Principal Investigator: Gwen Wyatt, PhD, RN MichiganState University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Gwen Wyatt, Professor, Michigan State University Identifier: NCT01585246     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Application ID 213
Study First Received: April 23, 2012
Last Updated: September 18, 2015

Keywords provided by Gwen Wyatt, Michigan State University:
Prostate Cancer
Radiation Therapy
Quality of Life
Symptom Management

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Prostatic Neoplasms
Genital Neoplasms, Male
Urogenital Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Genital Diseases, Male
Prostatic Diseases
Androgen Antagonists
Hormone Antagonists
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Estrogen Antagonists processed this record on May 25, 2017