Effects of lycopene supplementation in patients with localized prostate cancer.Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2002 Nov; 227(10):881-5.EB
Epidemiological studies have shown an inverse association between dietary intake of lycopene and prostate cancer risk. We conducted a clinical trial to investigate the biological and clinical effects of lycopene supplementation in patients with localized prostate cancer. Twenty-six men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer were randomly assigned to receive a tomato oleoresin extract containing 30 mg of lycopene (n = 15) or no supplementation (n = 11) for 3 weeks before radical prostatectomy. Biomarkers of cell proliferation and apoptosis were assessed by Western blot analysis in benign and cancerous prostate tissues. Oxidative stress was assessed by measuring the peripheral blood lymphocyte DNA oxidation product 5-hydroxymethyl-deoxyuridine (5-OH-mdU). Usual dietary intake of nutrients was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Prostatectomy specimens were evaluated for pathologic stage, Gleason score, volume of cancer, and extent of high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. Plasma levels of lycopene, insulin-like growth factor-1, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, and prostate-specific antigen were measured at baseline and after 3 weeks of supplementation or observation. After intervention, subjects in the intervention group had smaller tumors (80% vs 45%, less than 4 ml), less involvement of surgical margins and/or extra-prostatic tissues with cancer (73% vs 18%, organ-confined disease), and less diffuse involvement of the prostate by high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (33% vs 0%, focal involvement) compared with subjects in the control group. Mean plasma prostate-specific antigen levels were lower in the intervention group compared with the control group. This pilot study suggests that lycopene may have beneficial effects in prostate cancer. Larger clinical trials are warranted to investigate the potential preventive and/or therapeutic role of lycopene in prostate cancer.