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Gut Liver. 2013 Mar;7(2):137-49. doi: 10.5009/gnl.2013.7.2.137. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Chemoprevention of gastrointestinal cancer: the reality and the dream.

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  • 1Keimyung University College of Pharmacy, Daegu, Korea.


Despite substantial progress in screening, early diagnosis, and the development of noninvasive technology, gastrointestinal (GI) cancer remains a major cause of cancer-associated mortality. Chemoprevention is thought to be a realistic approach for reducing the global burden of GI cancer, and efforts have been made to search for chemopreventive agents that suppress acid reflux, GI inflammation and the eradication of Helicobacter pylori. Thus, proton pump inhibitors, statins, monoclonal antibodies targeting tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents have been investigated for their potential to prevent GI cancer. Besides the development of these synthetic agents, a wide variety of the natural products present in a plant-based diet, which are commonly called phytoceuticals, have also sparked hope for the chemoprevention of GI cancer. To perform successful searches of chemopreventive agents for GI cancer, it is of the utmost importance to understand the factors contributing to GI carcinogenesis. Emerging evidence has highlighted the role of chronic inflammation in inducing genomic instability and telomere shortening and affecting polyamine metabolism and DNA repair, which may help in the search for new chemopreventive agents for GI cancer.


Chemoprevention; Gastrointestinal neoplasms; Molecular target; Phytoceuticals

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