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Whether prostate cancer (PCa) may be preventable by dietary interventions can be assessed in randomized trials using intermediate biomarkers of cancer risk or progression. We investigated whether lycopene or green tea modify circulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF) peptides in men at increased risk of PCa. Participants (aged 50-69 years) in one centre in the UK wide PCa testing and treatment trial (ProtecT) with prostate specific antigen between 2.0 and 2.95 ng/ml or negative biopsies, were randomized to daily lycopene (n = 44 assigned 15 mg capsules/day; 44 assigned a lycopene-rich diet; 45 assigned placebo) and green tea (n = 45 assigned 600 mg/day epigallocatechin gallate; 45 assigned green tea drink; 43 assigned placebo) for 6 months. The interventions significantly elevated the primary outcomes, serum epigallocatechin gallate and lycopene at 6 months of follow-up. We report here an exploratory analysis in which serum IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF binding protein (BP)-2 and IGFBP-3 were measured at baseline and 6 months of postintervention. A total of 133 men were randomized (34% of eligible men approached) and 130 had follow-up IGF peptides (98%). In intention-to-treat analyses, there was only weak evidence that lycopene or green tea influenced some aspects of serum IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-2 or IGFBP-3. In men randomized to lycopene supplements, IGFBP-2 was nonsignificantly (50.9 ng/ml; 95% confidence interval: -51.2-152.9, P = 0.3) higher in comparison to placebo, whereas in men randomized to green tea supplements, IGFBP-3 was nonsignificantly (205.2 ng/ml; 95% confidence interval: -583.3-172.9, P = 0.3) lower than with placebo. In this small, pilot randomized controlled trial, there was little evidence that lycopene or green tea interventions influenced serum levels of IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBBP-3 and IGFBP-2. However, the effects were imprecisely estimates and some observed trends may justify larger trials.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur j cancer prev

Publication Date





569 - 575


Aged, Dietary Supplements, Follow-Up Studies, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3, Insulin-Like Growth Factor I, Insulin-Like Growth Factor II, Lycopene, Male, Middle Aged, Pilot Projects, Prostatic Neoplasms, Tea