Nutritional factors have been estimated to contribute 20-60% of cancers around the globe, and almost one-third of deaths are being reported in Western countries. According to estimates by the American Cancer Society, during the year 2005 about 232,090 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed alone in the United States and 30,350 men will die of this disease. The high incidence and long latency period of prostate cancer offer plenty of time to pursue strategies toward prevention and/or treatment to suppress or revert this disease. Epidemiological evidence suggests that plant-based dietary agents decrease the risk of some types of human cancer, including prostate cancer. Intake of 400-600 g/day of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of several cancers. The use of micronutrients and/or other phenolic agents in the diet or synthetic exogenous supplements to prevent neoplastic transformation of normal cells or to slow the progression of established malignant changes in cancer cells is termed "chemoprevention." Considerable attention has been devoted to identify plant-based dietary agents that may serve as natural inhibitors of prostate carcinogenesis. Much progress has been made in the last decade in this area of investigation through identification of pathways that play important roles in prostate tumorigenesis. This article summarizes epidemiological, clinical, and mechanistic studies and the significance of plant-derived dietary agents such as flavonoids, indoles, isothiocyanates, phenolics, monoterpenes, and complementary and alternative agents in the management of prostate cancer with recommendations for future studies to advance this area of research.