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Chest. 1995 Jun;107(6 Suppl):316S-321S.

Chemoprevention of lung cancer.

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


Treatment of lung cancer remains frustrating. Most patients with lung cancer are not candidates for curative therapy, and new therapies have not made a substantial impact on survival. Consequently, some clinical investigators have focused their efforts on developing prevention strategies. Chemoprevention, the administration of agents to block or reverse carcinogenesis, is being investigated in ongoing trials. Studies of chemoprevention in lung cancer have included trials to reverse premalignant lesions such as sputum atypia or squamous metaplasia of the bronchial epithelium. Clinical trials of lung cancer prevention have often studied groups of participants with tobacco or asbestos exposure. Other clinical trials are being conducted among patients who have been treated for an early-stage lung cancer. As the result of diffuse epithelial injury, these patients are at very high risk for developing second primary tumors, predominantly in the lungs and upper aerodigestive tract. It is our hope that these studies may establish a new strategy for preventing lung cancer.

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