Special Articles

Recent Advances in Chemoprevention of Cancer

Science  07 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5340, pp. 1073-1077
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5340.1073

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Abstract

Chemoprevention is the use of pharmacologic or natural agents that inhibit the development of invasive cancer either by blocking the DNA damage that initiates carcinogenesis or by arresting or reversing the progression of premalignant cells in which such damage has already occurred. Recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of carcinogenesis have led to the synthesis of new drugs that can inhibit tumor development in experimental animals by selective action on specific molecular targets, such as the estrogen, androgen, and retinoid receptors or inducible cyclooxygenase. Several of these agents (including tamoxifen, 13-cis-retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, and an acyclic retinoid) are clinically effective in preventing the development of cancer, particularly in patients who are at high risk for developing second primary tumors after surgical removal of the initial tumor.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: whong{at}notes.mdacc.tmc.edu

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