Background: Human prostate tissues are vulnerable to oxidative DNA damage. The risk of prostate cancer is lower in men reporting higher consumption of tomato products, which contain high levels of the antioxidant lycopene. We examined the effects of consumption of tomato sauce-based pasta dishes on lycopene uptake, oxidative DNA damage, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in patients already diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Methods: Thirty-two patients with localized prostate adenocarcinoma consumed tomato sauce-based pasta dishes for the 3 weeks (30 mg of lycopene per day) preceding their scheduled radical prostatectomy. Serum and prostate lycopene concentrations, serum PSA levels, and leukocyte DNA oxidative damage (ratio of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine [8-OHdG] to 2'-deoxyguanosine [dG]) were assessed before and after the dietary intervention. DNA oxidative damage was assessed in resected prostate tissue from study participants and from seven randomly selected prostate cancer patients. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results: After the dietary intervention, serum and prostate lycopene concentrations were statistically significantly increased, from 638 nM (95% confidence interval [CI] = 512 to 764 nM) to 1258 nM (95% CI = 1061 to 1455 nM) (P<.001) and from 0.28 nmol/g (95% CI = 0.18 to 0.37 nmol/g) to 0.82 nmol/g (95% CI = 0.57 to 1.11 nmol/g) (P <.001), respectively. Compared with preintervention levels, leukocyte oxidative DNA damage was statistically significantly reduced after the intervention, from 0.61 8-OHdG/10(5) dG (95% CI = 0.45 to 0.77 8-OHdG/10(5) dG) to 0.48 8-OHdG/ 10(5) dG (95% CI = 0.41 to 0.56 8-OHdG/10(5) dG) (P =.005). Furthermore, prostate tissue oxidative DNA damage was also statistically significantly lower in men who had the intervention (0.76 8-OHdG/10(5) dG [95% CI = 0.55 to 0.96 8-OHdG/10(5) dG]) than in the randomly selected patients (1.06 8-OHdG/10(5) dG [95% CI = 0.62 to 1.51 8-OHdG/10(5) dG]; P =.03). Serum PSA levels decreased after the intervention, from 10.9 ng/mL (95% CI = 8.7 to 13.2 ng/mL) to 8.7 ng/mL (95% CI = 6.8 to 10.6 ng/mL) (P<.001).
Conclusion: These data indicate a possible role for a tomato sauce constituent, possibly lycopene, in the treatment of prostate cancer and warrant further testing with a larger sample of patients, including a control group.