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Semin Oncol. 2010 Jun;37(3):243-57. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2010.05.001.

Cellular proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis: molecular targets for nutritional preemption of cancer.

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  • 1Nutritional Science Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD 20892-7328, USA. davisci@mail.nih.gov


Malignant cells are characterized by abnormal signaling pathways involving proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. These cancer centric pathways are known to be modified by several bioactive dietary components, although admittedly there are inconsistencies in the response. The response is dependent on the amount and duration of exposure to the dietary component and the cell type. While caution should be exercised when extrapolating in vitro data to in vivo conditions, such studies do provide valuable insights into plausible mechanisms. Significant gene-nutrient and nutrient-nutrient interactions may contribute to the uncertainty of the response to foods and/or their components. One of the challenges is the identification of which process(es), either singly or in combination, is/are most important in leading to a dietary-mediated phenotypic change. The dearth of controlled intervention studies that have investigated molecular targets for nutritional preemption in humans make firm dietary recommendations difficult. Until more definite information surfaces, a balanced but varied diet is most prudent.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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