The role of flower pollen extract in managing patients affected by chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a comprehensive analysis of all published clinical trials

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is still a challenge to manage for all physicians. We feel that a summary of the current literature and a systematic review to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of flower pollen extract would be helpful for physicians who are considering a phytotherapeutic approach to treating patients with CP/CPPS.

A comprehensive search of the PubMed and Embase databases up to June 2016 was performed. This comprehensive analysis included both pre-clinical and clinical trials on the role of flower pollen extract in CP/CPPS patients. Moreover, a meta-analysis of available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was performed. The NIH Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) and Quality of Life related questionnaires (QoL) were the most commonly used tools to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of pollen extract.

Pre-clinical studies demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative role of pollen extract. 6 clinical, non-controlled studies including 206 patients, and 4 RCTs including 384 patients were conducted. The mean response rate in non-controlled studies was 83.6% (62.2%-96.0%). The meta-analysis revealed that flower pollen extract could significantly improve patients' quality of life [OR 0.52 (0.34-.0.81); p = 0.02]. No significant adverse events were reported.

Most of these studies presented encouraging results in terms of variations in NIH-CPSI and QoL scores. These studies suggest that the use of flower pollen extract for the management of CP/CPPS patients is beneficial. Future publications of robust evidence from additional RCTs and longer-term follow-up would provide more support encouraging the use of flower pollen extracts for CP/CPPS patients.

BMC urology. 2017 Apr 21*** epublish ***

Tommaso Cai, Paolo Verze, Roberto La Rocca, Umberto Anceschi, Cosimo De Nunzio, Vincenzo Mirone

Department of Urology, Santa Chiara Regional Hospital, Trento, Italy. ., Department of Urology, University of Naples, Federico II, Naples, Italy., Department of Urology, Santa Chiara Regional Hospital, Trento, Italy., Department of Urology, Ospedale Sant'Andrea, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.