From carcinogenesis to clinical interventions for cancer prevention

Toxicology. 2001 Sep 14;166(1-2):37-45. doi: 10.1016/s0300-483x(01)00443-7.


During the last three decades, the scientific community has made immense progress in acquiring the knowledge needed to prevent cancer. Pioneering research helped to identify potential causes of cancer, particularly environmental factors such as diet, and provided insight regarding their mechanisms-of-action. Concurrently, promising inhibitors of cancer that appeared able to either arrest or reverse cancer development by interfering with one or more steps in the process of carcinogenesis were identified and systematically evaluated for their potential as chemopreventive agents. Numerous agents determined to be safe and effective in preclinical trials have been and continue to be tested in Phase I,II, and III clinical interventions for cancers at various sites, including breast, colon, prostate, esophagus, mouth, lung, cervix, endometrium, ovary, liver, bladder, and skin. The development of valid intermediate biomarkers that can serve as surrogate endpoints for clinical disease is urgently needed to accelerate advances in clinical trials for cancer prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chemoprevention*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents