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Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1998-1999;17(4):325-30.

Diet, androgens, oxidative stress and prostate cancer susceptibility.

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Department of Surgery, Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Center, University of Toronto, Canada.


Prostate cancer is the most common human malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in Western nations. Descriptive epidemiologic data suggest that androgens and/or environmental exposures, such as diet (in particular, dietary fat), play an important role in prostatic carcinogenesis. One plausible link between diet and prostate cancer is oxidative stress. This process refers to the generation of reactive oxygen species, which can then trigger a host of pro-carcinogenic processes. Recent studies also indicate that androgens increase oxidative stress within human prostate cancer cell lines. Recent data from our institution indicate that oxidative stress is higher within the benign epithelium of prostate cancer patients than men without the disease. This confirms our hypothesis and suggests that antioxidants such as lycopene, vitamin E, and selenium may play an important role in preventing disease progression. Large-scale clinical trials with some of these agents are currently in the design phase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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