Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 271063, 7 pages
Review Article

Lycopene, Tomato Products, and Prostate Cancer Incidence: A Review and Reassessment in the PSA Screening Era

1Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
2Department of Nutrition and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
3Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 3 February 2012; Accepted 1 April 2012

Academic Editor: Julian J. Raffoul

Copyright © 2012 Melissa Y. Wei and Edward L. Giovannucci. 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.


Lycopene has been proposed to protect against prostate cancer through various properties including decreased lipid oxidation, inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, and most notably potent antioxidant properties. Epidemiologic studies on the association between lycopene and prostate cancer incidence have yielded mixed results. Detection of an association has been complicated by unique epidemiologic considerations including the measurement of lycopene and its major source in the diet, tomato products, and assessment of prostate cancer incidence and progression. Understanding this association has been further challenging in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening era. PSA screening has increased the detection of prostate cancer, including a variety of relatively indolent cancers. This paper examines the lycopene and prostate cancer association in light of epidemiologic methodologic issues with particular emphasis on the effect of PSA screening on this association.