Update on Prostate Cancer Chemoprevention

Jennifer Fisher Lowe, PharmD; Lawrence A. Frazee, PharmD


Pharmacotherapy. 2006;26(3):353-359. 

In This Article


Chemoprevention, a term coined in the mid-1970s, is defined as the use of natural or synthetic agents that reverse, inhibit, or prevent the development of cancer in cancer-free individuals.[15] This approach relies on targeting healthy persons at risk of developing the cancer in question and using agents with a low probability of inducing adverse events. Administration of tamoxifen for preventing breast cancer in women at high risk is an excellent example of the application of chemoprevention principles.[16]

The high rate of occurrence and long lead time to development of clinically significant prostate cancer make this disease ideal for the study of chemoprevention.[17] Agents considered for preventive treatment of prostate cancer include nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), 5-α-reductase inhibitors, and various nutritional substances, such as lycopene, vitamin E, and the trace element selenium.


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