Lycopene Associated With Decreased Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Cathryn Bock, PhD Associate Professor, Oncology Department Karmanos Cancer Institute Wayne State University School of Medicine Detroit, MI 48201MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Cathryn Bock, PhD
Associate Professor, Oncology Department
Karmanos Cancer Institute
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Detroit, MI 48201

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Bock: This study examined the association between dietary antioxidant micronutrients and risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) among a cohort of 96,196 postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). During follow-up (median follow-up time was 12 years), there were 240 cases of confirmed renal cell carcinoma in the cohort. Dietary lycopene intake, measured at  baseline, was associated with a decreased risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Women with the highest quartile of lycopene intake (>6427.7 mcg/day) had approximately 40% lower risk of RCC compared to those women in the lowest quartile of lycopene intake (<2727.6 mcg/day). There were no statistically significant associations observed between intake of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein + xeazanthin, vitamin C, or vitamin E and renal cell carcinoma.

Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?

Dr. Bock: Several previous epidemiologic studies of micronutrients and RCC did not detect a protective effect of lycopene on renal cell carcinoma risk. Our novel conclusion may be due to differences in study populations or design; this is the largest study of lycopene and RCC risk in postmenopausal women, to date.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Bock: Our results suggest that lycopene acts protectively against renal cell carcinoma among postmenopausal women. Until these results are confirmed, or the underlying protective action of lycopene in preventing renal cell carcinoma is determined, it is premature to recommend specific dietary interventions.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Bock:  Because there are no guidelines currently for renal cell carcinoma prevention or screening, a better understanding of the biological relationship between lycopene and renal cell carcinogenesis is needed to determine dietary recommendations for at-risk populations.

Citation:

Ho, W. J., Simon, M. S., Yildiz, V. O., Shikany, J. M., Kato, I., Beebe-Dimmer, J. L., Cetnar, J. P. and Bock, C. H. (2014), Antioxidant micronutrients and the risk of renal cell carcinoma in the Women’s Health Initiative cohort. Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29091