Serum Retinol and Carotenoid Concentrations and Prostate Cancer Risk: Results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, Volume 24, Issue 10, p.1507-1515 (2015)


Background: Findings from epidemiologic studies examining associations of serum retinol and carotenoids with prostate cancer risk have been inconsistent. This case–control study nested in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial evaluated associations of serum retinol and carotenoids with total, low-, and high-grade prostate cancer risk in a highly screened study population. Methods: We used logistic regression adjusting for age, family history of prostate cancer, race, body mass index, and serum cholesterol to estimate ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of prostate cancer by quartiles of serum retinol and carotenoids, separately in the placebo (975 cases/1,009 frequency-matched controls) and finasteride (708 cases/743 frequency-matched controls) arms of the trial. Results: Serum retinol concentrations were associated with increased risk of total prostate cancer [OR (95% CI) comparing the highest quartile of serum retinol with the lowest: 1.30 (1.00–1.68)] and high-grade prostate cancer [OR (95% CI), 1.74 (1.14–2.68)] in the placebo arm of the trial only. Also in the placebo arm, there was a moderate positive association of α-carotene with risk of total prostate cancer [OR (95% CI), 1.32 (1.01–1.73)]. None of the other carotenoids was associated with prostate cancer risk in the placebo arm. No associations were observed for retinol and carotenoids in the finasteride arm. Conclusion: In the placebo arm of this prospective study, high serum retinol and α-carotene concentrations were associated with increased risk of total and high-grade prostate cancers. Impact: Men with higher levels of serum retinol and α-carotene may be at increased risk for prostate cancer.