Review: Effect of lycopene on prostate cancer progression

Researchers from the Queen’s University Belfast, in Northern Ireland reviewed the association between lycopene and the progression of prostate cancer.

First, the details.

  • 8 studies were identified (5 failed to include a comparative control group).

And, the results.

  • 6 studies reported that higher intake of lycopene intake was associated with lower PSA blood levels.
    • PSA (prostate-specific antigen) is a protein in men’s blood that’s used to screen for and monitor the progress of prostate cancer.
  • In 1 study, rates of cancer progression measured by bone scan were lower in those taking lycopene.
  • Lycopene was associated with lower cancer-related symptoms (pain, urinary tract symptoms), and was well tolerated.

The bottom line?

Despite these positive results, the authors concluded, the evidence available to date is insufficient to draw a firm conclusion with respect to lycopene supplementation in prostate cancer patients.”

They recommended more and larger studies.

1/12/10 19:30 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.