Lycopene Linked to Reduction in Fibroid Tumors
DC, 19 April 2004
Source: DSM Nutritional Products
Presented at Experimental Biology Meeting Shows Promise for Women
the antioxidant found in tomatoes that gives them their red color,
may be able to reduce the size and incidence of fibroid tumorsbased
on an animal study presented today at the annual Experimental Biology
meeting being held here this week. Fibroid tumors, also known as
leiomyomas or myomas, are benign tumors of the uterus that affect
millions of women.
from Firat University in Turkey, the University of Maryland and
the Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit
supplemented the basic diet of Japanese quails with either 100 mg
or 200 mg lycopene per kg of food.
10 months, the supplemented quails had fewer leiomyomas compared
to a control group fed only the basic diet (10 percent versus 20
percent). In addition, the average diameter of the tumors was significantly
smaller in the supplemented groups. The size of the tumors in the
group supplemented with 200 mg lycopene was also significantly smaller
than those in the group supplemented with 100 mg, indicating a dose
response effect of lycopene on the size of the tumors. The lycopene
for the study was provided by DSM Nutritional Products, Inc.
quails are thought to be an excellent model for studying fibroid
tumors since, as in humans, the tumors occur spontaneously in the
birds' oviduct, an organ similar to the human uterus. Most other
animal studies require introduction of the tumors into the species.
the present study, lycopene supplementation also appeared to have
a positive effect on the birds' serum concentrations of vitamins
C, E and A , homocysteine and malondialdehyde (MDA). Previous studies
have shown that serum levels of these vitamins decrease in patients
with uterine cervical cancers and that biomarkers of oxidative stress,
such as homocysteine in the blood and MDA in the blood and liver,
increase. After lycopene supplementation, however, the vitamin levels
of the supplemented birds increased and the levels of homocysteine
and MDA decreased.
researchers also measured tissue concentrations of the bcl-2 and
bax, two proteins that are associated with the cell proliferation
and cell destruction of tumors. There were no significant differences
in levels of these proteins among the study groups.
tumors are growths that arise from the muscle cells of the uterus
that occur in approximately to 20 to 25 percent of all women but
are even more common in women over the age of 35. Although benign,
fibroids can cause heavy bleeding and pain during menstruation,
pelvic pain, miscarriage and infertility.
usually involve in the surgical removal of the tumors or, in some
cases, hysterectomy . Between 1980 and 1993, an estimated
8.6 million women above the age of 15 in the United States had a
hysterectomy. The diagnosis most often associated with hysterectomy
was uterine leiomyoma; during 1988-1993, this diagnosis accounted
for 62 percent of hysterectomies among black women, 29 percent among
white women, and 45 percent among women of other races .
observational and clinical studies have demonstrated that lycopene
supplementation may prevent or slow the progression of certain cancers,
particularly prostate cancer. In the first clinical intervention
trial to use lycopene supplements, one of the authors of the present
study, Omer Kucuk, MD, of the Karmanos Cancer Institute, demonstrated
that prostate cancer patients who were given 15 mg of lycopene supplements
twice reduced the spread of their cancer .
Biology is the annual scientific conference of the Federation of
American Societies of Experimental Biology, a coalition of societies
involved in the study of biomedical and life sciences.
Kucuk O, et al. "Phase II randomized clinical trial of lycopene
supplementation before radical prostatectomy." Cancer Epidemiol
Biomarkers Prev. 10(8):861-868, August 2001.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1999.
Lepine LA, Hillis SD, Marchbanks PA, Koonin LM, Morrow B, Kieke
BA, Wilcox LS. "Hysterectomy surveillanceUnited States, 1980-1993."
MMWR CDC Surveill Summ. 1997; 46(4):1-15.
Nutrition Information Service, which is funded by DSM Nutritional
Products, Inc., the successor to Roche's Vitamins & Fine Chemicals