Future directions in cancer prevention

Nat Rev Cancer. 2012 Dec;12(12):835-48. doi: 10.1038/nrc3397. Epub 2012 Nov 15.


Prevention of cancer remains the most promising strategy for reducing both its incidence and the mortality due to this disease. For more than four decades, findings from epidemiology, basic research and clinical trials have informed the development of lifestyle and medical approaches to cancer prevention. These include selective oestrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer, the 5-α-reductase inhibitors finasteride and dutasteride for prostate cancer, and the development of vaccines for viruses that are associated with specific cancers. Future directions include genetic, proteomic and other molecular approaches for identifying pathways that are associated with cancer initiation and development, as well as refining the search for immunologically modifiable causes of cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aromatase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Azasteroids / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Diet
  • Dutasteride
  • Female
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators / therapeutic use*
  • Tobacco
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use


  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Azasteroids
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
  • Vaccines
  • Finasteride
  • Dutasteride