Prostate cancer chemoprevention agent development: The National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Prevention portfolio

Howard L. Parnes, Margaret G. House, Jacob Kagan, David J. Kausal, Ronald Lieberman, Neil Fleshner, Ian M. Thompson, Bob Djavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: We describe the current National Cancer Institute chemoprevention agent development program and provide a summary of the intermediate end points used. Materials and Methods: The National Cancer Institute is currently sponsoring a wide range of studies of promising chemoprevention agents in a variety of informative cohorts, eg high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, positive family history of cancer, increased prostate specific antigen with negative biopsies, prostate cancer followed expectantly, prostate cancer awaiting definitive therapy and the general population. The rationale for each agent under investigation is derived from epidemiological observations, prostate cancer treatment trials, secondary analyses of large cancer prevention studies, an understanding of cancer biology and prostate carcinogenesis, and/or experimental animal models. Results: Carcinogenesis is a multistep process occurring over decades which is characterized by disruption of the normal regulatory pathways controlling cellular proliferation, programmed cell death and differentiation. Administration of agents to reverse, inhibit or slow this process of malignant transformation is known as chemoprevention. Conclusion: Chemoprevention represents a promising approach to reducing the morbidity and mortality of prostate cancer. A variety of agents are currently being studied in phase 2 clinical trials, some of which may warrant subsequent evaluation in phase 3 trials with definitive cancer end points. Two large phase 3 trials, the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial and the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial, which are ongoing, are also sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S68-S75
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Clinical trials
  • Prevention
  • Prostatic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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