Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1998; 22(1):68-74.

Cancer Chemoprevention: Some Complications and Limitations

M Paolini PhDa,b, R. Mesirca PhDa, L Pozzetti PhDa, N Gialluca PhDc, C Bauer PhDc, GL Biagi MDa, Cantelli-Forti PhDa,d

aDepartment of Pharmacology, Biochemical Toxicology Unit, The University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; bDepartment of Pharmacology/Biology, Unit of Pharmacology, The University of Bari, Bari, Italy; cDepartment of Physiology and Biochemistry, Biochemistry Unit, The University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; dDepartment of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Division of Environmental Toxicology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Moreno Paolini, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology, University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy.

ABSTRACT: Chemopreventative stategies are very attractive and have earned serious consideration as a potential means of controlling cancer incidence. However, the use of some anti-initiating entities (enzyme inducers or inhibitors) devised to reduce tumor initiation is controversial. Indeed, considering the double-edged-sword (activating or detoxifying) nature of drug metabolizing enzymes, any attempt to modulate such catalysts by dietary components (including drugs) may lead to cancer risk.

KEY WORDS: cancer, enzyme inducers, inhibitors, polymorphisms, chemoprevention.