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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012, Article ID 902716, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/902716
Research Article

Curcumin and Other Polyphenolic Compounds in Head and Neck Cancer Chemoprevention

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich, Germany

Received 11 January 2012; Revised 17 February 2012; Accepted 5 March 2012

Academic Editor: Luciano Pirola

Copyright © 2012 Philipp Baumeister et al. 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.

Abstract

Despite clear results of observational studies linking a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to a decreased cancer risk, large interventional trials evaluating the impact of dietary micronutrient supplementation, mostly vitamins, could not show any beneficial effects. Today it has become clear that a single micronutrient, given in supernutritional doses, cannot match cancer preventive effects of whole fruits and vegetables. In this regard polyphenols came into focus, not only because of their antioxidant potential but also because of their ability to interact with molecular targets within the cells. Because polyphenols occur in many foods and beverages in high concentration and evidence for their anticancer activity is best for tissues they can come into direct contact with, field cancerization predestines upper aerodigestive tract epithelium for cancer chemoprevention by polyphenols. In this paper, we summarize cancer chemopreventive attempts with emphasis on head and neck carcinogenesis and discuss some methodological issues. We present data regarding antimutagenic effects of curcumin and epigallocatechin-3-gallate in human oropharyngeal mucosa cultures exposed to cigarette smoke condensate.