Clinical Chemoprevention Program

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Risk Assessment at Fox Chase

Risk Assessment at Fox Chase

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Cancerous changes in a normal cell may result from a variety of causes, including:

  • dietary factors
  • tobacco and alcohol use
  • other environmental agents
  • internal genetic components.

To learn how to stop cancer before it starts, the Fox Chase Cancer Center is conducting several clinical studies for people at risk for certain cancers. These studies test the ability of various medicines to prevent cancer. Called chemoprevention, it is the unique strategy to reduce cancer risk through the use of natural or synthetic compounds. To review the current prevention studies at Fox Chase, click here.

Ongoing research shows that chemoprevention will become an important complement to other approaches to reducing cancer rates. Chemopreventive therapy is usually tailored to individuals at high risk of developing cancer and is aimed at blocking early steps in the development of cancer.

In general, four risk groups may be targeted for chemoprevention:

  1. the general population
  2. high-risk groups (e. g. family history of cancer)
  3. individuals with precancerous conditions
  4. previously treated cancer patients at risk for new cancers.

Since most individuals who participate in chemoprevention trials are relatively healthy compared to those with an active cancer, it is critical that the risks of the chemopreventive agent be well defined. The potential benefits must always be weighed against the potential risks. Therefore carefully evaluate long term side effects as well as the effectiveness of the chemopreventive agent being tested. The Chemoprevention Branch of the National Cancer Institute is always identifying potential cancer chemopreventive agents.The agents selected for further development include those with high effectiveness and low side effects.

Traditionally, the definitive endpoint for cancer prevention trials has been defined as decreased cancer incidence. Investigating the ability of potential chemopreventive agents to lower cancer incidence requires the enrollment and follow up of large numbers of participants for many years. One example of a recent chemoprevention study is the STAR Trial. This study resulted in new options for women looking for ways to prevent breast cancer.

Contact : 1-800-ENROLLME (1-800-367-65563) or 1-888-FOX CHASE (1-888-369-2427)