, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 111-124

Chemoprevention of Prostate Cancer

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Abstract

Chemoprevention is prevention of cancer by administering natural or synthetic chemicals. Anti-androgens are among the promising chemopreventive agents for prostate cancer because prostate epithelium is androgen dependent. A National Cancer Institute supported large, randomized, clinical prostate cancer chemoprevention trial has been conducted to test the efficacy of finasteride, an inhibitor of 5-α-reductase, which converts testosterone to 5-hydroxy-testosterone. Now the focus is on micronutrients and phytochemicals, which have potential preventive effects against prostate cancer. Lycopene, soy isoflavones, vitamin E and selenium are among the most promising nutritional chemopreventive agents. Another NCI supported large clinical chemoprevention trial was recently started to investigate the efficacy of selenium and vitamin E, alone or in combination in the prevention of prostate cancer. Inclusion of appropriate biomarkers in clinical trials will help elucidate the mechanisms by which genetic and epigenetic pathways of carcinogenesis are modulated by nutrients and phytochemicals.