Tomatoes, lycopene and prostate cancer: a clinician's guide for counseling those at risk for prostate cancer.World J Urol. 2003 May; 21(1):9-14.WJ
Prostate cancer has become a major public health issue and the search for etiologic risk factors and the development of chemopreventive agents has gained momentum over the last decade. An important epidemiologic finding has been the association between the consumption of tomato products and a lower risk of prostate cancer. Several investigators have proposed that lycopene, a carotenoid consumed largely from tomato products, may be the component responsible for lowering the risk of prostate cancer. Laboratory and clinical studies have been initiated with the goal of assessing the ability of pure lycopene to serve as a chemopreventive agent for prostate cancer. The focus on lycopene should continue, and an improved understanding of lycopene absorption, distribution, role in antioxidant reactions, and metabolism is critical in the quest to elucidate mechanisms whereby this compound may possibly reduce prostate cancer risk.