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Chem Res Toxicol. 2008 Jan;21(1):160-71. Epub 2007 Dec 4.

Progress and challenges in selected areas of tobacco carcinogenesis.

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University of Minnesota Cancer Center, MMC 806, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


Tobacco use continues to be a major cause of cancer in the developed world, and despite significant progress in this country in tobacco control, which is driving a decrease in cancer mortality, there are still over 1 billion smokers in the world. This perspective discusses some selected issues in tobacco carcinogenesis focusing on progress during the 20 years of publication of Chemical Research in Toxicology. The topics covered include metabolism and DNA modification by tobacco-specific nitrosamines, tobacco carcinogen biomarkers, an unidentified DNA ethylating agent in cigarette smoke, mutations in the K-RAS and p53 gene in tobacco-induced lung cancer and their possible relationship to specific carcinogens, secondhand smoke and lung cancer, emerging issues in smokeless tobacco use, and a conceptual model for understanding tobacco carcinogenesis. It is hoped that a better understanding of mechanisms of tobacco-induced cancer will lead to new and useful approaches for the prevention of lung cancer and other cancers caused by tobacco use.

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