Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (2009) 12, 325–332; doi:10.1038/pcan.2009.38; published online 1 September 2009

Is there a benefit from lycopene supplementation in men with prostate cancer? A systematic review

F Haseen1, M M Cantwell1, J M O'Sullivan2 and L J Murray1

  1. 1Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group, Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  2. 2Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Correspondence: F Haseen, Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group, Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Mulhouse Building, Royal Victoria Hospital Site, Grosvenor Rd, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT12 6BJ, UK. E-mail:

Received 22 May 2009; Revised 29 July 2009; Accepted 29 July 2009; Published online 1 September 2009.



Lycopene has a chemopreventive effect against prostate cancer but its role in prostate cancer progression is unknown; many patients increase their intake of lycopene, although there are no evidence-based guidelines to suggest an effect. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review of literature to evaluate the association between lycopene intake and prostate cancer progression. MEDLINE, EMBASE CINAHL Plus, Web of Science, AMED and CENTRAL databases were systematically searched using terms for lycopene and prostate cancer progression to identify studies published before January 2009. Eight intervention studies were identified (five with no control group; one with an unmatched control group; and two randomized controlled trials (RCTs)). An inverse association was observed between lycopene intake and PSA levels in six studies. The rates of progression measured by bone scan in one RCT were lower in the intervention group. Lycopene resulted in lowering cancer-related symptoms (pain, urinary tract symptoms), and severe toxicity or intolerance was not evident. However, the evidence available to date is insufficient to draw a firm conclusion with respect to lycopene supplementation in prostate cancer patients and larger RCTs are required in broader patient groups.


lycopene supplementation; progression; systematic review



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