The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 6 No.
1 • February 2003
Lycopene May Be Useful in the Treatment of Prostate and
As a number of possible “treatment” health claims for
dietary supplements line up to wait for a go-ahead court decision, there are
now new reports on the potential use of lycopene as an adjunct treatment for
prostate and breast cancer, in addition to its prostate cancer preventive
One study reports that of 26 men with newly diagnosed
prostate cancer, half received a tomato oleoresin extract containing 30 mg of
lycopene (while the other half received no supplement) for three weeks before
they received radical prostatectomy. Biomarkers of cell proliferation and
apoptosis were assessed in benign and cancerous tissues. After intervention,
the subjects receiving supplementation had smaller tumors (80% vs. 45% less
than 4 ml), less involvement of surgical margins and/or extraprostatic 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 to those who received no supplementation. The mean
plasma prostate-specific antigen levels were lower in the intervention group
compared with controls. Thus, the authors conclude, “. . . lycopene may have
beneficial effects in prostate cancer.” They recommend larger clinical trials.
- Kucuk et al. Effects of lycopene supplementation in
patients with localized prostate cancer. Exp Biol Med 227:881-5 (2002).