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April 11, 1986

Evaluating vitamin prophylaxis for cancer

JAMA. 1986;255(14):1832-1835. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370140026003

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It's been four years since the National Cancer Institute (NCI) formally announced that it was launching a long-range cancer chemoprevention program. Since then, the institute has launched 26 clinical trials, and backed them with about $27 million in funding annually. The designs—and preliminary results—of some of these trials were presented in Tucson at the Second International Conference on the Modulation and Mediation of Cancer by Vitamins and Micronutrients.

Peter Greenwald, MD, director of the NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Bethesda, Md, characterized the program in a keynote address: "I think for the first time we have investigators from many different disciplines who are working hard at it [and are] working together. We have testable hypotheses that are very plausible. We have clinical trials in progress in cancer prevention, and they're augmented by a lot of basic research studies of the biochemistry."

The program is designed to evaluate the