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Nat Rev Cancer. 2004 Oct;4(10):781-92.

Polyamines and cancer: old molecules, new understanding.

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  • 1University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85724, USA.


The amino-acid-derived polyamines have long been associated with cell growth and cancer, and specific oncogenes and tumour-suppressor genes regulate polyamine metabolism. Inhibition of polyamine synthesis has proven to be generally ineffective as an anticancer strategy in clinical trials, but it is a potent cancer chemoprevention strategy in preclinical studies. Clinical trials, with well-defined goals, are now underway to evaluate the chemopreventive efficacy of inhibitors of polyamine synthesis in a range of tissues.

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