Profession Notes

You say tomato, but Phyllis Bowen, nutrition and dietetics professor at University of Illinois, Chicago, says possible prostate cancer deterrent and a great source of research funds. Recently added to the list of project directors for the National Foundation for Cancer Research, Bowen and collaborator, Konstantin Christov will use $300,000 in NFCR funding to examine the role of lycopene (a strong antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color) in apoptosis of prostate cancer cells and hyperplas

Apr 30, 2001
Brendan Maher
You say tomato, but Phyllis Bowen, nutrition and dietetics professor at University of Illinois, Chicago, says possible prostate cancer deterrent and a great source of research funds. Recently added to the list of project directors for the National Foundation for Cancer Research, Bowen and collaborator, Konstantin Christov will use $300,000 in NFCR funding to examine the role of lycopene (a strong antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color) in apoptosis of prostate cancer cells and hyperplasia. Earlier clinical studies demonstrated lycopene uptake in the prostates of affected men who ate a regular diet of tomato products prior to surgery. Bowen came across the funding for this ancillary study during the annual retreat of Functional Foods for Health, a joint research program between UI-Chicago and Urbana campuses. A speaker at the retreat, Helmut Sies of Heinrich-Heine-Universitat in Dusseldorf, Germany, suggested that the NFCR be invited. Much of Bowen's research affirms Sies' NFCR-supported findings on lycopene. "I happened to sit with them [the NFCR] one of the days during the retreat and I thought that this was perfect for us," says Bowen who believes that these findings may prove more useful than those from the clinical studies on which they are built. She points out the importance of funding for such add-ons. "Usually the people who do the clinical trials are focused on the task at hand. Costs balloon, and they often don't capture as much data as might be possible."