Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Ecancermedicalscience. 2015 Nov 24;9:595. doi: 10.3332/ecancer.2015.595. eCollection 2015.

Barriers to preventive therapy for breast and other major cancers and strategies to improve uptake.

Author information

1
Division of Medical Oncology, E.O. Ospedali Galliera, Mura delle Cappuccine 14, Genoa 16128, Italy ; Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.
2
Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK ; Breast Services, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF, UK.
3
Division of Cancer Prevention and Genetics, European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti 435, Milan 20141, Italy.
4
Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK ; Health Behaviour Research Centre, University College London, London WC1E 7HB, UK.
5
Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.

Abstract

The global cancer burden continues to rise and the war on cancer can only be won if improvements in treatment go hand in hand with therapeutic cancer prevention. Despite the availability of several efficacious agents, utilisation of preventive therapy has been poor due to various barriers, such as the lack of physician and patient awareness, fear of side effects, and licensing and indemnity issues. In this review, we discuss these barriers in detail and propose strategies to overcome them. These strategies include improving physician awareness and countering prejudices by highlighting the important differences between preventive therapy and cancer treatment. The importance of the agent-biomarker-cohort (ABC) paradigm to improve effectiveness of preventive therapy cannot be overemphasised. Future research to improve therapeutic cancer prevention needs to include improvements in the prediction of benefits and harms, and improvements in the safety profile of existing agents by experimentation with dose. We also highlight the role of drug repurposing for providing new agents as well as to address the current imbalance between therapeutic and preventive research. In order to move the field of therapeutic cancer prevention forwards, engagement with policymakers to correct research imbalance as well as to remove practical obstacles to implementation is also urgently needed.

KEYWORDS:

SERMs; aspirin; biomarkers; breast cancer; cancer; drug repurposing; preventive therapy

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center