Chemoprevention of lung cancer--from biology to clinical reality.


Lung cancer is the commonest cause of cancer death in developed countries and throughout the world. Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for lung cancer and ex-smokers today comprise approximately 50% of all new lung cancer cases. Chemoprevention builds on the concepts of field of cancerization and multistep carcinogenesis and can be defined as the use of natural or chemical compounds to prevent, inhibit or reverse the process of carcinogenesis. So far, chemoprevention studies in lung cancer have failed to reduce lung cancer mortality. New developments in biotechnology have made it possible to define more accurately high-risk populations, make earlier diagnosis possible, and allow more specific targeted therapies to be developed. Both the development and validation of biomarkers, for the selection of high-risk study populations and for response evaluation in chemoprevention studies, are important for the faster turnover of studies evaluating new agents. This article reviews the current status and describes the perspectives for new approaches in the chemoprevention of lung cancer.

  • Bunn PA
  • Franklin WA
  • Hirsch FR
  • Kotantoulas GK
  • Winterhalder RC
PubMed ID
Appears In
Ann Oncol, 2004, 15 (2)