Cancer prevention and interception: A new era for chemopreventive approaches

Adriana Albini, Andrea DeCensi, Franco Cavalli, Alberto Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At several recent, internationally attended scientific meetings, including the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)'s "Shaping the Future of Cancer Prevention: A Roadmap for Integrative Cancer Science and Public Health" summit in Leesburg (VA) and the AACR Annual Meeting in New Orleans, the focus on cancer prevention to reduce cancer-related deaths was extensively discussed with renewed attention and emphasis. Cancer prevention should be actively proposed even to healthy individuals, and not just to individuals with high cancer risk. We discuss evaluation of a high cancer risk versus the relatively low risk for side effects of chemopreventive agents. The concept of cancer interception, which is halting transformed cells from becoming malignant cancers, should be adopted for cancer prevention. Potential prevention/interception actions include adopting healthy life style and avoiding carcinogens, repressing inflammation and pathologic angiogenesis, controlling metabolism, correcting insulin resistance and other metabolic alterations. Current drugs with limited toxicity can be repurposed to reduce cancer incidence. Aspirin is now being recommended for the prevention of colorectal cancer and it prevents other neoplasms as well. Metformin and b-blockers could be valuable for reducing pancreatic and breast cancer onset. On the basis of the evaluation of cancer risk, we here call for personalized approaches for cancer prevention and preventive interception and we envisage a list of measures and potential guidelines for preventive and interceptive strategies to reduce cancer burden. Investment into translational research to bring these approaches into public health policies and in the clinic is urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4322-4327
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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