The Role of Tomato Lycopene in Cancer Prevention

  • Joseph LevyEmail author
  • Shlomo Walfisch
  • Andrea Atzmon
  • Keren Hirsch
  • Marina Khanin
  • Karin Linnewiel
  • Yael Morag
  • Hagar Salman
  • Anna Veprik
  • Michael Danilenko
  • Yoav Sharoni
Part of the Diet and Cancer book series (DICA, volume 2)


The role of the tomato carotenoid lycopene in cancer prevention has gained considerable interest in recent years. Most studies reported an inverse association between tomato intake or blood lycopene level and the risk of various types of cancer. This is supported by mechanistic studies with various cell culture and animal models. The biochemical processes involved in the chemoprotective effects of lycopene and other carotenoids are not completely understood. In this review we will primarily address the mechanisms proposed for the cancer preventive activity of tomato lycopene, focusing on the induction of phase II enzymes and the inhibition of growth factors, such as insulin-like growth factor, and sex hormones such as estrogens and androgens.


Tomato lycopene Phase II enzymes Growth factors Sex hormones Chemoprevention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Levy
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shlomo Walfisch
    • 3
  • Andrea Atzmon
    • 3
  • Keren Hirsch
    • 3
  • Marina Khanin
    • 3
  • Karin Linnewiel
    • 3
  • Yael Morag
    • 3
  • Hagar Salman
    • 3
  • Anna Veprik
    • 3
  • Michael Danilenko
    • 3
  • Yoav Sharoni
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical BiochemistryFaculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion UniversityBeer-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Soroka Medical Center of Kupat HolimBeer-ShevaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Biochemistry and the Colorectal UnitFaculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University and Soroka Medical Center of Kupat HolimBeer-ShevaIsrael

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