eISSN: 2299-0038
ISSN: 1643-8876
Menopause Review/Przegląd Menopauzalny
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vol. 12
Review paper

Lycopene in chemoprevetion of breast cancer

Katarzyna Terlikowska
Anna Witkowska
Bożena Dobrzycka
Sławomir Jerzy Terlikowski

Przegląd Menopauzalny 2013; 17 (4): 358–362
Online publish date: 2013/10/02
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In view of the increasing number of breast cancer cases, it is important to develop methods of prevention of formation of this type of cancer as well as inhibition of its growth. Numerous scientific researches show decreased levels of carotenoids in the blood serum of women suffering from breast cancer. Therefore, the aim of this study was to review the available literature on varied properties of lycopene and possibilities of its application as adjuvants in the anticancer therapy. Lycopene is a natural, red dye carotenoid, mostly occurring in tomatoes. It is a relatively heat-stable substance, which subjected to thermal processes such as heating, stewing, roasting or frying, increases its bioavailability/bioassimilability in the body. Lycopene has a multi-anticancer activity which is associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties and it affects gene expression of ARE (Antioxidant Response Element). Lycopene inhibits proliferation of cancer cells, induces their apoptosis and prevents formation of blood vessels. In addition, lycopene competes with estrogen for active sites of estrogen receptors, thus decreasing the expression of ERE (Estrogen Response Element). A critical review of available literature suggests that dietary lycopene, due to its multi-chemopreventive activity, can be used in the prevention of breast cancer. Studies on the possible use of lycopene in the treatment of cancer are still ongoing. There are positive promises from cell culture studies, however further efforts to evaluate the effect of lycopene in women diagnosed with breast cancer are needed.

lycopene, chemoprevention, breast cancer

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