Reducing cancer with medications or dietary supplements is called chemoprevention. Leading oncologist and cancer prevention expert shares ideas on pros and cons of cancer chemoprevention.
Let's talk about chemoprevention of cancer. How to use medications to lower risks of cancer? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. How to use medicines to lower chances of cancer return? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. If cancer had already been diagnosed and treated. You did important work on cancer chemopreventive methods. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We have several ways of cancer chemoprevention In my lab. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We developed a mixtures of curcumin, green tea and selenium. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We put it in one tablet. It’s also very effective. It's very strong natural Cox-2 inhibitors to prevent cancers. Curcumin and green tea can treat all kinds of inflammation. But for this kind of research you need a lot of money. It's difficult to achieve it in the framework of the academia. Everything we've discussed was done without the contribution and support from the medical industry. It was part of our academic work. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We were able to pursue this very promising cancer chemo-prevention method. This is definitely something that should be explored more. Curcumin is certainly a very interesting substance. Because turmeric acts on NFKB and many other factors in the body. Turmeric also can halt the progress of hematological cancers. In India curcumin consumption is high. The rates of colorectal cancer in India is lower. Of course there are more factors involved in lower colon cancer incidence in India. But this is very fascinating! Curcumin is fascinating. Yes and we showed that curcumin has a synergistic effects when you combine it with green tea and selenium. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We wrote a patent on it. It has a synergistic amazing effect. It works on NFKB and COX-2. It is very promising for colorectal cancer prevention. And no side effects! Sometimes we continue discussing chemoprevention of cancer using medicinal substances. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We know that for reducing the risk of cancers, one compound is DFMO. It is is Di-Fluoro-Methyl-Ornithine. What is DFMO? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. How can DFMO lower risks or certain cancers? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. What is the potential mechanism? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. This was a good clinical trial. Because what I like about this clinical trial is that it used combination therapy to prevent cancers. I strongly believe in combination therapy to prevent and treat cancer. It is the way to go in medicine. Now everything is combination therapy. Because this strategy can lower the concentrations of the medications. You can minimize toxicity and increase efficacy. I don't think DFMO is potentially good for inhibiting cancer growth. But also DFMO is not that practical. This fact was buried inside the article. There could be a lot of hearing loss with DFMO use. Sometimes you are looking for medications to prevent cancer. You have to look for five major criteria. Medication has to be given by mouth. At most medication is given once a day, not more often than that. Medication should be effective. Medication should have low toxicity. Medication should be cheap. An example is a contraception pill for preventing pregnancy. You need something like that. DFMO was not that cheap. DFMO had side effects, especially hearing loss. Its ototoxicity is quite toxic. DFMO did not fulfill all criteria. Sometimes we are looking for chemoprevention of cancer. This is the criteria that we should look for the medication to fulfill. Obtain medical second opinion on cancer. Then it could achieve worldwide compliance. Statins are clearly used with great efficacy to reduce risks of cardiovascular disease. But it was noticed in several clinical trials that statins can reduce risks of various cancers. That includes gastrointestinal cancers. In some clinical trials the evidence was quite clear. In other clinical trials evidence for caner prevention by statins was not shown. What do you think about the use of statins in reducing risks of cancer? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Statins might be another "magic bullet" of the century. But still - just in preventing heart disease. For preventing cancer the data on statins is not sufficient. It's not good enough that we can advocate statins for this indications. Only for preventing cancer. It's true that there is some common risk factors for ischemic heart disease and cancer. It is like obesity, sedentary lifestyle, hyperlipidemia. Statins just for prevention of colon cancer are not sufficient. I cannot advocate statins for colon cancer prevention.