What the oncologist can learn from diabetes studies: Epidemiology, prevention, management, cure

Published:February 03, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2018.01.026


      Notwithstanding massive efforts and investment in improving cancer therapy, the limited progress made in reducing overall mortality has mostly been achieved through early diagnosis. Mortality rates for cardiovascular disease are in decline, a success attributable in large part to an active prevention approach coupled with identification of risk factors and biomarkers. Promising natural and synthetic molecules including numerous flavonoids have the potential to be used in diabetes care and in prevention of cardiovascular pathologies. These concepts should also be applied to cancer, the incidence of which continues to increase. In cancer chemoprevention low toxicity drugs or dietary constituents are used to prevent or delay onset of malignancy. Evidence is accumulating that cancer chemoprevention is a valuable weapon against human cancer. For example, doubling of fruit and fiber intake is associated with reduction of colorectal cancer whereas fat food consumption appears to increase malignant progression of certain tumors. Breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most suitable cancers for dietary prevention and scientists have strong data in these cancers at basic, translational, clinical and epidemiological levels, due to experimental evidence and the large EPIC study. Physical activity is also crucial. Yet, cancer chemoprevention research in oncology is largely underrepresented and lags far behind the efforts dedicated to therapy; it is important to close this gap. Few European phase III clinical trials are ongoing and systematic development of novel agents for cancer prevention is rare in Europe.


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