Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Nov;102(5):1142-57. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.114306. Epub 2015 Oct 7.

Carotenoids, retinol, tocopherols, and prostate cancer risk: pooled analysis of 15 studies.

Author information

  • 1Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health,
  • 2Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health.
  • 3Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, US National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD;
  • 4Department of Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD; Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC;
  • 5Navarre Public Health Institute, Pamplona, Spain, and Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública), Spain;
  • 6Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany;
  • 7National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, Netherlands; Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Medical Centre, Utrecht, Netherlands; School of Public Health, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom;
  • 8Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Urology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA;
  • 9Public Health Sciences Division, Program in Epidemiology.
  • 10School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom;
  • 11Sorbonne Paris Cité Epidemiology and Biostatistics Research Center, Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team (Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team), Inserm U1153, Inra U1125, Cnam, University Paris 13, University Paris 5, University Paris 7, Bobigny, France;
  • 12Cancer Epidemiology Centre, The Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Australia;
  • 13Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA;
  • 14Departments of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA;
  • 15SWOG Statistical Center.
  • 16School of Public Health, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom;
  • 17Department of Surgery, and.
  • 18National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland;
  • 19Prevention and Research Center Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD;
  • 20Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA;
  • 21George W Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention, Hagerstown, MD;
  • 22International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; Department for Biobank Research, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden;
  • 23Department of Public Health and Primary Care and.
  • 24Public Health Sciences Core Laboratories, Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
  • 25University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI;
  • 26School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom; Medical Research Council/University of Bristol Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom; National Institute for Health Research, Bristol Biomedical Research Unit in Nutrition, Bristol, United Kingdom;
  • 27Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo and Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway;
  • 28Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom;
  • 29Division of Public Health Sciences, and.
  • 30Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology Unit, Cancer Research and Prevention Institute-ISPO, Florence, Italy;
  • 31Department of Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD;
  • 32Cancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA;
  • 33Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark;
  • 34Hellenic Health Foundation and Bureau of Epidemiologic Research, Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece and.
  • 35Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom;



Individual studies have suggested that circulating carotenoids, retinol, or tocopherols may be associated with prostate cancer risk, but the studies have not been large enough to provide precise estimates of associations, particularly by stage and grade of disease.


The objective of this study was to conduct a pooled analysis of the associations of the concentrations of 7 carotenoids, retinol, α-tocopherol, and γ-tocopherol with risk of prostate cancer and to describe whether any associations differ by stage or grade of the disease or other factors.


Principal investigators of prospective studies provided individual participant data for prostate cancer cases and controls. Risk by study-specific fifths of each biomarker was estimated by using multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression in matched case-control sets.


Data were available for up to 11,239 cases (including 1654 advanced stage and 1741 aggressive) and 18,541 controls from 15 studies. Lycopene was not associated with overall risk of prostate cancer, but there was statistically significant heterogeneity by stage of disease, and the OR for aggressive disease for the highest compared with the lowest fifth of lycopene was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.46, 0.91; P-trend = 0.032). No other carotenoid was significantly associated with overall risk of prostate cancer or with risk of advanced-stage or aggressive disease. For retinol, the OR for the highest compared with the lowest fifth was 1.13 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.22; P-trend = 0.015). For α-tocopherol, the OR for the highest compared with the lowest fifth was 0.86 (95% CI: 0.78, 0.94; P-trend < 0.001), with significant heterogeneity by stage of disease; the OR for aggressive prostate cancer was 0.74 (95% CI: 0.59, 0.92; P-trend = 0.001). γ-Tocopherol was not associated with risk.


Overall prostate cancer risk was positively associated with retinol and inversely associated with α-tocopherol, and risk of aggressive prostate cancer was inversely associated with lycopene and α-tocopherol. Whether these associations reflect causal relations is unclear.

© 2015 American Society for Nutrition.


biomarkers; carotenoids; nested case-control study; pooled analysis; prostate cancer; retinol; tocopherols; vitamin A; vitamin E

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
[Available on 2016-11-01]

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, Grant Support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk