San Francisco—Targeting precancerous lesions with chemopreventive agents that delay, halt, or even reverse disease progression can greatly reduce the cancer burden, say many researchers. Malignant tumors, like cardiovascular disease, generally take years to emerge. This lengthy period of development provides an opportunity to interrupt a precancer's march toward malignancy. The hope is that interventions against precancerous lesions will reduce cancer deaths, just as treatments during the early stages of the cardiovascular disease process have prevented deaths from heart disease.
Friedrich MJ. Researchers Focus on Chemoprevention to Stop Cancer Before It Can Get Started. JAMA. 2002;287(20):2640-2643. doi:10.1001/jama.287.20.2640-JMN0522-2-1