A Definition of Predictive and Preventive Oncology

Predictive Oncology

Predictive oncology essentially promotes primary cancer prevention by assessment of cancer susceptibility and control of genotoxic exposures and of the basic mechanisms that may lead to the development of neoplastic diseases. Predictive oncology incorporates also identification of cancer prone individuals and prognostic evaluation of tumor development and progression as well as lifestyle modification.

Predictive oncology for primary prevention of cancer involves:

  • role of multistage cofactorial exposures
  • identification of avoidable risk factors
  • molecular biology of cancer susceptibility
  • genetic predisposition to cancer
  • prognostic assessment of occult, incipient and advanced neoplasms
  • prediction of response to anticancer therapies
  • genetic markers
  • assessment of exposure to carcinogens

Preventive Oncology

Preventive oncology for secondary prevention focuses on routine clinical and laboratory procedures for early detection and treatment of cancer, patient management and education, management of curable lesions, education and lifestyle modification.

Preventive oncology for secondary prevention of cancer involves:

  • screening modalities and their cost effectiveness
  • methodological issues of cancer detection
  • public awareness and professional education
  • screening guidelines for cancer detection
  • clinical and laboratory aspects of cancer detection
  • management of patients with preneoplastic alterations
  • management of early curable neoplasms
  • novel therapeutic approaches