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Vol. 74, No. 4, 2005
Issue release date: May 2005

Can We Prevent Prostate Cancer? Rationale and Current Status of Prostate Cancer Chemoprevention

Fujimoto N. · Chang C. · Nomura M. · Matsumoto T.
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Prostate cancer has been one of the most frequent cancers among men in Western countries for the past decade. Investigation of prostate cancer prevention is very attractive, because prostate cancer has a high incidence, long-term natural history, regional difference in incidence, and is effected by sex steroids. Chemoprevention is defined as the use of specific agents to suppress or reverse carcinogenesis and to prevent the development of cancer. The development of chemoprevention strategies against prostate cancer would be of medical and economic importance. Basic and clinical research of chemoprevention of prostate cancer are under active investigation. This article aims to summarize and review the basic evidence and clinical trials on prostate cancer chemoprevention. Recent research has demonstrated that many agents, such as agents altering sex steroid signaling, drugs inducing antiproliferation/differentiation, retinoids, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antioxidants, could be potential preventatives for prostate cancer. Large-scale clinical trials have suggested that 5α-reductase inhibitor finasteride, selenium, and vitamin E can function as a chemopreventive agent. Although no definitely effective strategies of prostate cancer prevention have been identified yet, increasing evidence will provide effective and safe strategies that bring clinical benefits.

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