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Curr Opin Oncol. 2002 May;14(3):318-22.

Chemoprevention of head and neck cancer: an update.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck is an important public health problem worldwide that is clearly associated with the widely accepted risk factors of tobacco smoking and alcohol use and is the end result of a multiyear, multipath disease process of progressive genetic and associated tissue damage. Chemoprevention, the use of drugs or other agents to inhibit, delay, or reverse this process, is recognized as a very promising and important area in head and neck cancer research. Chemoprevention research is based on the increasing body of knowledge of the biology underlying head and neck tumorigenesis and is expected to ultimately result in a decrease in the incidence of head and neck cancer.

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