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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 192464, 23 pages
Review Article

The Role of Nutraceuticals in Chemoprevention and Chemotherapy and Their Clinical Outcomes

1Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 175A Campbell Hall, 1300 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294-1170, USA
2Department of Math and Sciences, Alabama State University, P.O. Box 271, Montgomery, AL 36101-0271, USA
3Clinical Nutrition Research Center, 402 Webb Nutrition Sciences Building, 1675 University Blvd, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-3360, USA
4Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1802 6th Avenue South, North Pavilion 2500, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
5Center for Aging, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 933 South 19th Street, Room 201, Community Health Services Building, Birmingham, AL 35294-2041, USA
6Nutrition Birmingham Obesity Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 402 Webb Nutrition Sciences Building, 1675 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294-3360, USA

Received 30 June 2011; Accepted 25 August 2011

Academic Editor: Julian J. Raffoul

Copyright © 2012 Sabita N. Saldanha and Trygve O. Tollefsbol. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The genesis of cancer is often a slow process and the risk of developing cancer increases with age. Altering a diet that includes consumption of beneficial phytochemicals can influence the balance and availability of dietary chemopreventive agents. In chemopreventive approaches, foods containing chemicals that have anticancer properties can be supplemented in diets to prevent precancerous lesions from occurring. This necessitates further understanding of how phytochemicals can potently maintain healthy cells. Fortunately there is a plethora of plant-based phytochemicals although few of them are well studied in terms of their application as cancer chemopreventive and therapeutic agents. In this analysis we will examine phytochemicals that have strong chemopreventive and therapeutic properties in vitro as well as the design and modification of these bioactive compounds for preclinical and clinical applications. The increasing potential of combinational approaches using more than one bioactive dietary compound in chemoprevention or cancer therapy will also be evaluated. Many novel approaches to cancer prevention are on the horizon, several of which are showing great promise in saving lives in a cost-effective manner.