Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Dianzheng Zhang

Second Advisor

Ruth Borghaei

Third Advisor

Michael Roberts


Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most widespread cancers diagnosed in men in the United States and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. PCa will be a major cancer-related burden both socially and economically in the near future. It has been shown that dietary intake of natural anti-inflammatory agents are capable of inhibiting cancer progression, but due to the nature of dietary studies it is difficult to accurately conclude that diet is capable of impacting chronic diseases and mortality. This systematic review aims to collect and evaluate literature focused on PCa progression and the natural anti-inflammatory agents of lycopene and the Mediterranean diet (MedD).

Data Sources: An electronic search included the following databases: PUBMED, EBSCOhost Web, Scopus and clinical trials registry platforms were used to survey the important literature.

Study Selection: Study inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) uniform form of measurement for evaluating the risk of PCa/ current state of PCa in patients; 2) patients treated in a clinical or observational setting; 3) an experimental group in which subjects clearly underwent an intervention focused on preventing or reducing PCa initiation or progression; 4) a clearly defined control group in which subjects received either a placebo or standard care therapy; and 5) an outcome measure assessing the risk or current state of PCa.

Data Extraction: For randomized control trials a qualitative analysis was done to collate and summarize effects of identified interventions according to the recommended methodology from the Cochrane Handbook. For all other types of studies (Cohort iv Studies, Case-control studies, a Cross-sectional studies) a rubric of criteria was created and used for analysis.

Data Synthesis: There were 24 randomized control trials that met all inclusion and no exclusion criteria for the search concerning lycopene and PCa. There was 1 randomized control trial that met all inclusion and no exclusion for the search concerning the MedD and PCa. All studies had some concern for bias; therefore, the Cochrane risk bias tool as well as a rubric of criteria was used.

Conclusions: Given the fact that there were not many high-quality studies done regarding the effect of lycopene on PCa initiation and progression. Based on the current literature there is not enough evidence to conclude that Lycopene or the MedD is able to affect either PCa initiation or progression. As of now there are not enough high-quality clinical investigations done to show evidence that the Lycopene or the MedD is capable of inhabiting initiation or proliferation of PCa. In the future, more high-quality clinical investigations will need to be done before making this conclusion.