Background: Lycopene, a plant carotenoid, has potent effects against the various types of cancer cells. To date, the effect of lycopene in the free and encapsulated forms on the telomerase activity in human leukemia cell line K562 have not been investigated. The aim of the present study was to prepare a novel lycopene-loaded nanosphere and compare its anti-telomearse activity in K562 cell line with those of free lycopene. Materials and Methods: The lycopene-loaded nanospheres were prepared by nanoprecipitation method. The lycopene entrapment efficacy was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. The anti-proliferation effect of the lycopene in the free and encapsulated forms in the different times (0-72 h) and the different doses (0-100 μg/ml) on K562 cell line was studied using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay. The changes of telomerase activity, following treatment with the lycopene in the free and encapsulated forms, were detected using the telomeric repeat amplification protocol-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: The entrapment efficacy of lycopene was 78.5% ± 2. Treatment of the K562 cell line with lycopene, in particular in encapsulated form, resulted in a significant inhibition of the cell growth and increasing of percentage of apoptotic cells. It has also been observed that the telomerase activity in the lycopene-loaded nanospheres-treated cells was significantly inhibited in a dose and time-dependent manner. Conclusion: Our data suggest a novel mechanism in the anti-cancer activity of the lycopene, in particular in encapsulated form, and could be provided a basis for the future development of anti-telomerase therapies.