April - June 2006: 
Volume 19, Issue 2

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Lung cancer, chemoprevention and vitamin A
Lung cancer is the second most common neoplasm and the leading cause of cancer mortality in both men and women in the United States. The risk of the disease reflects the joint consequences between "exposure to etiologic(or protective) agents and the individual susceptibility to these agents". The most important etiologic agents for lung cancer are cigarette smoking, passive smoking, occupational exposures, radiation, air pollution and indoor air pollution. As far as diet is concerned, the protective role of fruit and vegetable consumption is clearly suggestive in most of the studies. Considering the role of specific micronutrients against lung cancer studies have been focused on retinol, vitamin C, total carotenoids, and b-carotene. Chemoprevention refers tï the use of specific chemical agents to inhibit the development of invasive lung cancer by blocking the DNA damage that initiates carcinogenesis or by reversing or arresting the progression of premalignant cells. A lot of possible lung cancer chemopreventive agents have been studied, as COX-2 inhibitors, EGFR inhibitors, retinoids, lipoxygenase inhibitors, angiogenesis inhibitors and cell cycle inhibitors selenium. As for the therapeutic role of retinoids as chemopreventive agents, even if it has gone from its zenith in the 1990s to something of a nadir, it seems that the best possible knowledge of retinoid biology in lung cancer biology will help us to understand the action and the use of these agents depending on the context and the timing they are examined. At the same time new synthetic retinoids have been discovered which may prove to be effective in lung cancer chemoprevention. Pneumon 2006, 19(2):99-111.