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Flashcards in Chemoprevention Deck (58)
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What % of patients with cancer can be cured? 

Approx 50%


Why is prevention better than cure in terms of treatment? 

It can be unpleasant, ineffective, and extremely expensive


Who does cancer have a huge impact on? 

  • Patients 
  • Families
  • Society 



What are the main modifiable risk factors of cancer? 

  • Tobacco
  • Bad diet
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Alcohol 
  • Occupational exposures
  • Radiation 
  • Infections



What has shown the importance of lifestyle and environment in cancer? 

Immigration studies, showing the decreased incidence of stomach cancer in Japanese populations who immigrated to Hawaii 


What recommendations were made in 2007 by the WCRF/AICR expert report to prevent cancer? 

  • Be as lean as possible without being underweight
  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes per ady
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (particularly processed foods high in sugar, or low in fibre, or high in fat) 
  • Limit consumption of red meats and avoid processed meats
  • If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day
  • Limit consumption of salty foods and food processed with salt
  • Don't use supplements to protect against cancer



Define chemoprevention

The use of natural or synthethic compounds to reverse, suppress, prevent or delay carcinogenic progression to invasive cancer 


What characteristics should an ideal chemoprevention agent have? 

  • High efficacy
  • No or low toxicity 
  • Known mechanism
  • Acceptable by humans
  • Oral formulation 
  • Low cost



What is the result of chemoprevention agents needing to have no or low toxicity?

Novel agents are not an option


Why are novel agents not an option in chemoprevention? 

Because when you develop a new drug, it can take 20/30 years to find side effects 


If novel agents can't be used for chemotherapy, what can? 

Repurposed drugs, such as aspirin and metformin, or dietary compounds


When in carciongenesis can cancer be prevented? 

Anywhere before the cancer becomes malignant - gives a big window for prevention 


What are blocking agents? 

Compounds which inhibit carciogenesis by preventing carcinogens from being created, or from reaching, or reacting with, critical target sites in tissues


What are suppressing agents? 

Compounds which act after carcinogenic exposure by suppressing the expression of neoplasia


What is true of the mechanism of action of most chemoprotective drugs? 

They have many mechanims, and so often act as blocking agents and suppressing agents 


Give 6 mechanisms of action of blocking agents

  • Scavenging free radicals
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Induction of phase II drug metabolising enzymes
  • Inhibition of phase I drug metabolising enzymes
  • Induction of DNA repair
  • Blockage of carcinogen uptake 



Give 5 mechanisms of action of suppressin agents

  • Alteration in gene expression
  • Inhibition of cell proliferation or clonal expansion
  • Induction of terminal differentiation or senescence
  • Induction of apoptosis in preneoplastic lesions
  • Modulation of signal transduction 




How can modulation of signal transduction be achieved? 

  • Inhibition of arachidonic acid cascade
  • Inhibition of tyrosine kinase activity
  • Induction of phosphatases
  • Modulation of hormone/growth factor activity
  • Induction of ornithine decarboxylase activity
  • Induction of gap junction communication



What is primary chemoprevention? 

Giving chemoprevention to a healthy patient, or one with a genetic predisposition 


Give two examples of primary chemoprevention

  • Low dose aspirin to prevent colorectal cancer
  • Tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer



What is secondary chemoprevention? 

Giving chemoprevention to patients with preinvasive dysplasia or preneoplastic lesions


Give an example of secondary chemoprevention

Use of valrubin in bladder cancer in situ


What is tertiary prevention? 

Using chemopreventive agents to prevent relapse or the development of a new primary cancer


Give an example of tertiary chemoprevention

SERMs for prevention of breast cancer recurrence/mets


How does the acceptibility of toxicity differ in primary and tertiary chemoprevention? 

Increased toxicity and side effects acceptable in tertiary 


What are the challenges of chemoprevention research? 

  • When researching a treatment, you have a population who are all of interest, and get a result in months. In chemoprevention, need a very large population, only a few of which would get cancer, and it takes decades to see if it works. 
  • Hard to get funding, as not sponsered by pharmaceutical companies


What can be used to overcome the problem of chemoprevention research taking a very long time? 

Surrogate endpoints


What do surrogate endopoint biomarkers allow? 

  • Smaller trials
  • Quicker assessment of efficacy without waiting for tumours 



What do surrogate endopoint biomarkers require? 

  • A detailed understanding of the cancer process in any given issue
  • Requires a detailed understandin of the mechanism of action of chemopreventive agents 



What is the difference in dosages between chemotherapy and chemoprevention studies? 

Chemoprevention has to minimise the dose and maximise the safety. Chemotherapy has to maximise the dose, and emphaise efficacy