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Mislabeled Supplement Spurred Prostate Cancer: Report
Date:1/18/2008

Ingredients might have led to aggressive disease in 2 men taking the product

FRIDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A mislabeled over-the-counter product described as a dietary supplement appears to have contributed to the development of aggressive prostate cancer in two men, researchers report.

"There were things on the label that were not in the product, and components in the product that were not on the label," said study author Dr. Shahrokh Shariat, chief resident in urology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

The men developed rapidly advancing prostate cancer within months of using the dietary supplement, which was advertised as something that would increase stamina and muscle mass, and strengthen the heart, Shariat said. One of the men has died and the other "is in the final stages of the disease and probably will die within months," he said.

The findings were published in the current issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

The report did not name the product or its manufacturer, at the request of the journal editors who were fearful of "possible legal implications," Shariat said. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, notified of the findings, issued a warning letter to the manufacturer, which led to removal of the product from the market, he said.

An analysis of the product found that it contained both testosterone and estradiol, a sex hormone, he said, and laboratory tests on human prostate cancer cells found it to be a more potent stimulator of cancer cell growth than testosterone alone.

"There are a lot of such products on the market in an unregulated fashion, because androgen supplements are the fastest-growing part of the supplement business," Shariat said. "There are dangerous ones out there, and people should be aware of it."

But Andrew Shao, vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which
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