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F1000Res. 2015 Sep 28;4(F1000 Faculty Rev):916. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.6684.1. eCollection 2015.

Chemoprevention of cancer: current evidence and future prospects.

Author information

1
Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, GR-115 27, Greece.
2
Department of Public Health and Community Health, Faculty of Health Professions, Athens Technological Educational Institute (TEI Athens), Athens, Greece.
3
Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, GR-115 27, Greece; Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

Cancer chemoprevention refers to the use of agents for the inhibition, delay, or reversal of carcinogenesis before invasion. In the present review, agents examined in the context of cancer chemoprevention are classified in four major categories-hormonal, medications, diet-related agents, and vaccines-and the main representatives of each category are presented. Although there are serious constraints in the documentation of effectiveness of chemopreventive agents, mainly stemming from the long latency of the condition they are addressing and the frequent lack of intermediate biomarkers, there is little disagreement about the role of aspirin, whereas a diet rich in vegetables and fruits appears to convey more protection than individual micronutrients. Among categories of cancer chemopreventive agents, hormonal ones and vaccines might hold more promise for the future. Also, the identification of individuals who would benefit most from chemopreventive interventions on the basis of their genetic profiles could open new prospects for cancer chemoprevention.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; HBV; HPV; SERMs; antiandrogens; antiestrogens; aromatase inhibitors; aspirin; chemoprevention; nutrients; supplements; vaccines

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