Prevention of prostate cancer through custom tailoring of chemopreventive regimen

Chem Biol Interact. 2008 Jan 30;171(2):122-32. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2007.03.001. Epub 2007 Mar 12.


One practical way to control cancer is through chemoprevention, which refers to the administration of synthetic or naturally occurring agents to block, reverse or delay the process of carcinogenesis. For a variety of reasons, the most important of which is human acceptance, for chemopreventive intervention naturally occurring diet-based agents are preferred over synthetic agents. For a long time, the prevailing mantra of cancer chemoprevention has been: "Find effective agents with acceptable or no toxicity and use them in preventing cancer in relatively healthy people or individuals at high risk for developing cancer". In pursuing this goal many naturally occurring phytochemicals capable of affording protection against carcinogenesis in preclinical settings in experimental animals have been described. However, clinical trials of single agents have yielded disappointing results. Since carcinogenesis is a multistage phenomenon in which many normal cellular pathways become aberrant, it is unlikely that one agent could prove effective in preventing cancer. This review underscores the need to build an armamentarium of naturally occurring chemopreventive substances that could prevent or slow down the development and progression of prostate cancer. Thus, the new effective approach for cancer prevention "building a customized mechanism-based chemoprevention cocktail of naturally occurring substances" is advocated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Lythraceae
  • Male
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Pentacyclic Triterpenes
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Selenium / pharmacology
  • Tea
  • Tocopherols / pharmacology
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Pentacyclic Triterpenes
  • Tea
  • Triterpenes
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase
  • Selenium
  • lupeol
  • Tocopherols