Lycopene as a chemopreventive agent in the treatment of high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia

Urol Oncol. 2005 Nov-Dec;23(6):383-5. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2005.05.012.


Objective: Because of its long latency, slow growing nature, and high prevalence, prostate cancer is the best model for chemoprevention. High-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) is a precursor of prostate cancer. Chemoprevention with lycopene has shown definite results in prostate cancer. We undertook a study to use lycopene as a chemopreventive agent in the treatment of HGPIN for preventing prostate cancer from developing in this vulnerable group of patients.

Materials and methods: A total of 40 patients with HGPIN were randomized into 2 groups: one received 4 mg lycopene twice a day for one year, and the other was periodically followed up. Total follow-up was one year.

Results: Our results show that lycopene can delay or prevent HGPIN from developing into occult prostate cancer, and there exists an inverse relationship between lycopene and prostate-specific antigen. Being a vegetable carotenoid, lycopene is a safe drug to be used for a longer period without any adverse reaction.

Conclusion: Lycopene is an effective chemopreventive agent in the treatment of HGPIN, with no toxicity and good patient tolerance.

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carotenoids / adverse effects
  • Carotenoids / pharmacokinetics
  • Carotenoids / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Progression
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology*
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / prevention & control
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Carotenoids
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Lycopene