The accumulation of data from a variety of sources has led to a hypothesis that tomatoes, tomato products, or specific components derived from tomatoes may have the ability to inhibit certain phases of prostate carcinogenesis. However, not all studies support this relationship, and a definitive, randomized controlled trial of tomato products for the prevention of prostate cancer has never been undertaken. Thus, it is critical for readers to recognize that the relationship remains a hypothesis that requires continued reassessment as additional studies are completed and published in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Most important, readers should appreciate that no single study will provide the answers we need, although such an idea is often widely promoted by the public media. Only through a compilation of data derived from a variety of studies can we assess this relationship and provide evidence-based guidelines to enhance public health and patient care.

430An expanding array of in vivo rodent experimental models mimicking specific aspects of human prostate carcinogenesis and tumorigenesis have been developed. These models offer vital opportunities to conduct carefully controlled studies and assess dietary and nutritional hypotheses. Several laboratories have undertaken studies in experimental models targeting the relationship between tomatoes, tomato products and prostate cancer that provide data relevant to our interpretation of the epidemiologic, clinical, and in vitro data regarding tomato products or their components. These studies provide critical insight into efficacy, safety and biomarkers, which are relevant to the design of definitive intervention studies in humans. This chapter will focus primarily on a summary of accumulated knowledge derived from studies in rodent models relevant to the relationship between tomatoes and their constituents as modulators of prostate carcinogenesis.