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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(7), 14620-14646; doi:10.3390/ijms140714620
Review

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

1
, 1
, 2
, 2
, 3
 and 1,4,5,*
1 Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Brisbane, Australia 2 Human Nutrition, BASF SE, G-ENH/MB, 68623 Lampertheim, Germany 3 Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, Translational Research Institute, 37 Kent Street, Woolongabba, QLD 4102, Brisbane, Australia 4 The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 801 Ferst Drive Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA 5 Institute of Advanced Study, Technical University of Munich, Lichtenbergstr. 2a, 85748 Garching, Munich, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 May 2013 / Revised: 29 May 2013 / Accepted: 20 June 2013 / Published: 12 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Urology)
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Abstract

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.
Keywords: lycopene; prostate cancer; disease prevention; treatment; molecular mechanisms; animal models lycopene; prostate cancer; disease prevention; treatment; molecular mechanisms; animal models
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Holzapfel, N.P.; Holzapfel, B.M.; Champ, S.; Feldthusen, J.; Clements, J.; Hutmacher, D.W. The Potential Role of Lycopene for the Prevention and Therapy of Prostate Cancer: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Evidence. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 14620-14646.

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