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It’s a term that is often misunderstood in cancer — chemoprevention. Cancer chemoprevention is the use of substances to prevent or stop the growth of cancer. These substances can be natural or made in a laboratory and are often used in those who are at high risk of developing cancer or to prevent recurrence in patients who have battled the disease.

Dr. Nagi Kumar

Dr. Nagi Kumar, Director, Cancer Chemoprevention Research Interest Group

Led by Dr. Nagi Kumar, the Cancer Chemoprevention Research Interest Group at Moffitt Cancer Center is working to develop new cancer chemoprevention regimens for different types of cancers, including brain, bladder and prostate.

Kumar’s latest study focuses on the prevention of lung cancer. She is seeking former and current smokers who are at high risk for lung cancer and who have been screened and diagnosed with a lung nodule. A lung nodule is an abnormal mass found in the lung. A nodule does not necessarily mean cancer is present. However, when found in current or former smokers, doctors may evaluate these nodules carefully, testing the nodule for cancerous cells and/or monitoring it over time.

“Our study utilizes two compounds in hopes of shrinking or stopping lung nodules in former smokers from potentially growing to become cancer,” said Kumar.

Study Eligibility

Qualified participants are:
• 55 years or older
• Former or current smokers
• Diagnosed with a lung nodule using CT scan

The two compounds that will be used as chemoprevention agents include curcumin, a substance found in the turmeric root, and Lovaza, an omega-3 fatty acid formulation that is found in fish oils such as salmon and red snapper.  Out team and others have shown that both curcumin and omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, omega-3 has been shown to resolve the damage that has been caused to lung tissue from prolonged smoking.

Study participants who receive low-dose CT scans or regular CT scans to screen and are monitored periodically for their lung nodule will be included in this trial.  No additional CTs will be obtained other than those used to monitor the nodules. Subjects recruited to the trial will also receive blood tests to monitor safety at start of the study, at 3 months and end of study, at 6 months.

For more information, please call 813-745-4374.