Antioxidants for prostate cancer chemoprevention: challenges and opportunities

Biochem Pharmacol. 2012 May 15;83(10):1319-30. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2011.12.027. Epub 2012 Jan 11.


Extensive research has led to the firm conclusion that antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress and its associated pathological conditions including inflammation. It has also been established that inflammation is a precursor in neoplastic transformation of the prostate. Although, a vast body of experimental and clinical evidence shows efficacy of antioxidants as preventive strategies for prostate cancer, there is a lack of consistent agreement in outcomes especially from recent large-scale randomized clinical trials. Despite these concerns, our understanding of the preventive mechanisms as well as clinical efficacy and safety data indicate that novel antioxidant therapeutics still hold great promise for prostate cancer chemoprevention. We propose that for effective use of antioxidants for prostate cancer prevention, further high impact translational research is needed with special attention on selecting those patients who will benefit from such intervention. Therefore, it is important to validate predictive biomarkers from successful trials and combine this with knowledge of preclinical characterization of antioxidants (and combinations) that will eventually facilitate the development of 'personalized prostate cancer chemoprevention'. In this review, we briefly describe some common and emerging antioxidants that have shown benefits in preclinical and clinical settings. Above all, we focus on summarizing the progress we made thus far in prostate cancer chemoprevention using antioxidants, the heightened interest and challenges in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants