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Crit Rev Oncog. 1994;5(1):1-22.

Chemoprevention and therapy of cancer by d-limonene.

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Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53792.


The naturally occurring monoterpene d-limonene has chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activity against many rodent solid tumor types. The chemopreventive activity of limonene during initiation can be attributed to the induction of phase I and phase II enzymes, with resulting carcinogen detoxification. The chemopreventive activity of limonene during promotion/progression may be due in part to inhibition of the posttranslational isoprenylation of growth-controlling small G proteins, such as p21ras. The complete regression of mammary carcinomas by limonene appears to involve tissue redifferentiation. The multiple antitumorigenic effects of limonene are attainable at a high therapeutic ratio, suggesting that limonene and related monoterpenes may be efficacious in the chemoprevention and chemotherapy of human malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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