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Curr Probl Cancer. 1994 Jan-Feb;18(1):6-79.

Chemoprevention of cancer.

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Division of Population Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center.


Chemoprevention is a strategy used to block the development of cancers in human beings. This emerging field has broad potential for influencing cancer incidence rates in defined high-risk groups and the general population. In this review, we define some of the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, describe some of the genetic markers of carcinogenesis, and list possible biomarkers that may serve as surrogate end points in chemoprevention studies. A major component of this review is a description of the agents that are currently under investigation in animal systems or in human trials. They are grouped according to the agents that block or suppress mutation, such as oltipraz, selenium, vitamin C and the flavones, or according to agents that block promotion and proliferation, such as difluoromethylornithine, tamoxifen, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, and the vitamin A derivatives. We describe the issues that are considered in the design of chemoprevention trials and in the phase I, II, and III components of these trials. The following national trials are discussed: the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial, which uses tamoxifen; the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, which uses finasteride; and a Lung Cancer Prevention Trial, which uses 13-cis-retinoic acid. The review ends with some insights about future studies in chemoprevention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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