AUSTIN, Minn., January 15, 2009 –  The Hormel Institute’s Cancer Biology Professor Dr. Junxuan Johnny  Lu will be leading a study on a five-year research project to study an Oriental herbal compound which may help prevent prostate cancer.

 Prostate cancer is the second cause of cancer death to men in the United States, according to National Institutes of Health statistics.

  The herbal compound 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucose (PGG) is a compound present in some Oriental medicinal herbals.  A number of cell studies indicate the compound may have a strong cancer inhibitory effect.

“If our research proves that indeed PGG is a safe and effective cancer preventive compound in animal models, we will further research to plan for human clinical trials,” said Dr. Lu.  The goal will be to benefit both prostate cancer patients and men’s health in general.  

 The National Institute’s of Health grant is for $1 million, with an additional $525,000 added to that for supporting the costs associated with the research project.  

 The research was initiated through collaboration between the principal investigator of this grant award, Professor Junxuan Johnny Lu of The Hormel Institute and Professor Sung Hoon Kim of Kyung Hee University of Seoul, Korea.  Professor Kim is currently a visiting professor at The Hormel Institute and a co-investigator of the research project.  The Hormel Institute is a research unit of the University of Minnesota and a research collaborative partner with Mayo Clinic.