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The Potential Role of Lycopene for the Prevention and Therapy of Prostate Cancer: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Evidence

Author(s): Nina Pauline Holzapfel | Boris Michael Holzapfel | Simon Champ | Jesper Feldthusen | Judith Clements | Dietmar Werner Hutmacher

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN 1422-0067

Volume: 14;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 14620;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: lycopene | prostate cancer | disease prevention | treatment | molecular mechanisms | animal models

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.
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