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A Review of Cancer Chemopreventive Agents

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In the late 20th century, the treatment of cancer began to include its prevention. Today, compounds exist that will lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. This has been demonstrated in studies where chemically induced tumor growth has been slowed or reversed. Anti-inflammatory compounds having chemopreventive activity are piroxicam, sulindac, aspirin, celecoxib and curcumin. The selective estrogen receptor modulators, tamoxifen and raloxifene, are beneficial in the prevention of estrogendependent tumors. Retinoids, vitamin A derivatives, such as targretin and fenretinide are useful in the prevention of tumors. Compounds containing sulfur, such as sulforaphane and oltipraz, are even useful as radioprotective agents. The steroid dehydroepiandosterone can inhibit experimental carcinogenesis. All of these chemical classes provide a start for the medicinal chemist to design more effective chemopreventive agents. The biomarkers used to determine the chemopreventive activity of new compounds are quite often activities of enzymes. The identification of those individuals at high risk is still in its infancy and presents a troubling dilemma.

Keywords: anti flammatory; aspirin; celecoxib; chemopreventive activity; chemopreventive agents; curcumin; piroxicam; radioprotective agenets; raloxifene; sulindac; tamoxifen

Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: 2001-09-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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