Is there a benefit from lycopene supplementation in men with prostate cancer? A systematic review

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2009;12(4):325-32. doi: 10.1038/pcan.2009.38. Epub 2009 Sep 1.


Lycopene has a chemopreventive effect against prostate cancer but its role in prostate cancer progression is unknown; many patients increase their intake of lycopene, although there are no evidence-based guidelines to suggest an effect. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review of literature to evaluate the association between lycopene intake and prostate cancer progression. MEDLINE, EMBASE CINAHL Plus, Web of Science, AMED and CENTRAL databases were systematically searched using terms for lycopene and prostate cancer progression to identify studies published before January 2009. Eight intervention studies were identified (five with no control group; one with an unmatched control group; and two randomized controlled trials (RCTs)). An inverse association was observed between lycopene intake and PSA levels in six studies. The rates of progression measured by bone scan in one RCT were lower in the intervention group. Lycopene resulted in lowering cancer-related symptoms (pain, urinary tract symptoms), and severe toxicity or intolerance was not evident. However, the evidence available to date is insufficient to draw a firm conclusion with respect to lycopene supplementation in prostate cancer patients and larger RCTs are required in broader patient groups.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carotenoids / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


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