The convergence of cancer prevention and therapy in early-phase clinical drug development

Cancer Cell. 2004 Oct;6(4):321-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2004.09.021.


After decades of separate but not equal drug development, prevention and therapy are beginning to converge at the level of early-phase clinical testing. This highly beneficial convergence is due to spectacular molecular advances in our understanding of neoplasia (both cancer and precancer), cancer risk and prognosis, and the mechanisms by which novel drugs with less toxicity and more cytostatic activity profiles target specific molecular events to suppress malignant and premalignant cells. The future full convergence of prevention-therapy drug development (aided by technological advances, such as in molecular imaging) promises to hasten the progress of oncology in reducing the public health impact of the major cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Drug Design*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*


  • Antineoplastic Agents