Date of Graduation

Summer 8-10-2019

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies


Background: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men. It is also very common for men to suffer from recurrence after primary therapy is completed. The current most commonly used therapies for prostate cancer recurrence, hormonal therapy and radiation, have significant side effects. It is known that diet influences cancer prevention, progression, and recurrence. A plant-based diet, especially when combined with stress reduction techniques, may be a useful therapeutic option with fewer side effects for men with recurrent prostate cancer. This review examines the effects of a plant-based diet and stress reduction on PSA doubling time in prostate cancer recurrence.

Methods: An exhaustive search of available medical literature was performed using MEDLINE-PubMed, Web of Science, and SagePub Journals. Keywords used included: prostate specific antigen, PSA, recurrent, doubling time, prostate-healthy diet, plant based diet, vegetable proteins, prostate cancer, and prostatic neoplasm. Studies were assessed forquality using GRADE criteria.

Results: Thirteen articles were identified with the search strategy. Four of these articles were found to be relevant, including 1 RCT and 3 observational studies. All 4 studies reported an increase in PSA doubling time; 3 of the 4 study results were found to be statistically significant. The quality of the studies ranged from low to very low and further research is necessary to follow larger groups of patients for a longer interval before these results can be extrapolated to the larger populations.

Conclusion: A plant-based diet in combination with stress reduction techniques is not a reliable method of therapy for all patients with recurrent prostate cancer. However, there is no potential for harm, and current research shows potential benefits, with some men responding better than others.

Keywords: Prostate specific antigen, recurrent, doubling time, prostate-healthy diet, plant based diet, vegetable proteins, prostate cancer, prostatic neoplasm