The potential role of lycopene for the prevention and therapy of prostate cancer: from molecular mechanisms to clinical evidence

Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jul 12;14(7):14620-46. doi: 10.3390/ijms140714620.

Abstract

Lycopene is a phytochemical that belongs to a group of pigments known as carotenoids. It is red, lipophilic and naturally occurring in many fruits and vegetables, with tomatoes and tomato-based products containing the highest concentrations of bioavailable lycopene. Several epidemiological studies have linked increased lycopene consumption with decreased prostate cancer risk. These findings are supported by in vitro and in vivo experiments showing that lycopene not only enhances the antioxidant response of prostate cells, but that it is even able to inhibit proliferation, induce apoptosis and decrease the metastatic capacity of prostate cancer cells. However, there is still no clearly proven clinical evidence supporting the use of lycopene in the prevention or treatment of prostate cancer, due to the only limited number of published randomized clinical trials and the varying quality of existing studies. The scope of this article is to discuss the potential impact of lycopene on prostate cancer by giving an overview about its molecular mechanisms and clinical effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carotenoids / metabolism
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology
  • Carotenoids / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control

Substances

  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene