Randomized phase II trial of polyphenon E versus placebo in patients at high risk of recurrent colonic neoplasia

Frank A. Sinicrope, Thomas R. Viggiano, Navtej S. Buttar, Louis M. Wong Kee Song, Kenneth W. Schroeder, Robert E. Kraichely, Mark V. Larson, Robert E. Sedlack, John B. Kisiel, Christopher J. Gostout, Abdul M. Kalaiger, Árpád V. Patai, Gary Della'Zanna, Asad Umar, Paul J. Limburg, Jeffrey P. Meyers, Nathan R. Foster, Chung S. Yang, Stephen Sontag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polyphenon E (Poly E) is a green tea polyphenol preparation whose most active component is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). We studied the cancer preventive efficacy and safety of Poly E in subjects with rectal aberrant crypt foci (ACF), which represent putative precursors of colorectal cancers. Eligible subjects had prior colorectal advanced adenomas or cancers, and had ≥5 rectal ACF at a preregistration chromoendoscopy. Subjects (N = 39) were randomized to 6 months of oral Poly E (780 mg EGCG) daily or placebo. Baseline characteristics were similar by treatment arm (all P >0.41); 32 of 39 (82%) subjects completed 6 months of treatment. The primary endpoint was percent reduction in rectal ACF at chromoendoscopy comparing before and after treatment. Among 32 subjects (15 Poly E, 17 placebo), percent change in rectal ACF number (baseline vs. 6 months) did not differ significantly between study arms (3.7% difference of means; P ¼ 0.28); total ACF burden was also similar (-2.3% difference of means; P ¼ 0.83). Adenoma recurrence rates at 6 months were similar by arm (P > 0.35). Total drug received did not differ significantly by study arm; 31 (79%) subjects received ≥70% of prescribed Poly E. Poly E was well tolerated and adverse events (AE) did not differ significantly by arm. One subject on placebo had two grade 3 AEs; one subject had grade 2 hepatic transaminase elevations attributed to treatment. In conclusion, Poly E for 6 months did not significantly reduce rectal ACF number relative to placebo. Poly E was well tolerated and without significant toxicity at the dose studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-580
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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