May - August 2003: 
Volume 16, Issue 2

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Chemoprevention in lung cancer
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in developed countries. More than two thirds of the patients present at the time of diagnosis with advanced stage disease IIIb or IV which is practically considered to be incurable. The 5-year survival rate after diagnosis is less than 15%. The high mortality rate argue for new approaches for controlling this disease such as chemoprevention and early detection. Chemoprevention, which has been defined as the use of agents that inhibit or reverse carcinogenesis, represents the therapeutic interventions at early stage of carcinogenesis, before the onset of invasive cancer. Towards this purpose, retinoids have been studied in the past and are being considered as potential chemopreventive agents. At present, research focuses on molecular targeted therapies such as EGFR receptor inhibitors and COX inhibitors. Several studies have shown that early detection of lung cancer improves the outcome of lung cancer. The identification of intermediate biomarkers of carcinogenesis, the use of laser-induced fluorescence endoscopy (LIFE), sputum cytology and low dose spiral computed tomography have increased diagnostic sensitivity. Optimal targeted population is of major importance for applying clinical investigations and screening-tests for lung cancer. Pneumon 2003, 16(2):189-198.