AccScience Publishing / GPD / Volume 3 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/gpd.2827
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Natural carotenoids as a potential chemopreventive agent for prostate cancer: A literature review

Maria Vasileiou1* Theodora Tatsiou2 Vasiliki Ioannidou3 Vasiliki Taxiarchoula Agiassoti4 Stergiani Telliou5
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1 Department of Pharmacy, School of Health Sciences, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
2 Department of Biology, University of Crete, Crete, Greece
3 Cancer Prevention Research Group in Greece, Athens, Greece
4 Department of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
5 Department of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Submitted: 26 January 2024 | Accepted: 19 March 2024 | Published: 27 March 2024
© 2024 by the Author (s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer death among men worldwide. While the exact etiology of PCa remains unclear, various factors contribute to the onset of the disease. These factors include modifiable risk factors such as physical activity, diet, obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and exposure to environmental agents. In addition, unmodifiable risk factors such as age and ethnicity play a role, with men of African ancestry being more susceptible to the disease. Despite the availability of potential treatment options, prevention is of utmost importance in reducing the incidence of PCa. Researchers have turned their attention to carotenoids, which are natural compounds derived from fruit and vegetables such as citrus, tomato, and green leafy vegetables, due to their potential chemopreventive effects. Multiple phase II clinical trials have indicated a reduced incidence and progression of diagnosed PCa in patients. Laboratory studies on PCa cell lines have demonstrated that carotenoids induce apoptosis and reduce cellular accumulation and adhesion of PCa cells in a dose-dependent manner. In this literature review, we assess the chemopreventive potential of the most common carotenoids: α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and β-cryptoxanthin, which are often found in a heterogeneous mixture. We also discuss their potential clinical use as well as challenges related to their safety and bioavailability. Overall, a better understanding of the etiology and pathophysiology of PCa will lead to the development of improved preventative strategies and treatments for the disease.

Prostate cancer
Natural products
Antioxidant properties
Apoptotic properties
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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Gene & Protein in Disease, Electronic ISSN: 2811-003X Published by AccScience Publishing