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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2013 Jul;43(7):685-94. doi: 10.1093/jjco/hyt053. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Prevention and intervention trials for colorectal cancer.

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Division of Cancer Prevention Research, National Cancer Center Research Institute, 5-1-1, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan.


There have been a number of candidates for chemopreventive agents from synthetic drugs and natural compounds suggested to prevent colorectal cancer. However, they have shown modest efficacy in humans. The reason for this could be partly explained by the use of inappropriate models in vitro and in vivo, and the limitation of chemoprevention trials. In Japan, there are no cancer chemopreventive medicines, and few cancer chemoprevention trials to date. In contrast, an increase in the prevalence of colorectal cancer in Japan has forced us to develop more efficient chemopreventive strategies. It is now a good time to review in detail the current status and future prospects for chemoprevention of colorectal cancer with respect to the future development of chemopreventive medicines, particularly using synthetic drugs and natural compounds in Asian populations. The role and mode of action of available synthetic drugs, mainly aspirin and metformin, are reviewed. In addition, the possible impact of natural compounds with anti-inflammatory/immunosuppressive properties, such as ω3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and lactoferrin, are also reviewed.


aspirin; chemoprevention; lactoferrin; metformin; ω6-PUFAs

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