Advances in Nutrition and Cancer 2

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Advances in Nutrition and Cancer 2
V Zappia et al (Eds)
Published by Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers (2000).
ISBN: 0-306-46306-7. 299 pages plus index.
RRP: US$95.

This volume is based on papers presented at the Second International Symposium on Nutrition and Cancer held in Italy in 1998. It includes a series of 24 individual papers covering issues ranging from updates on epidemiological studies undertaken or underway in Italy, to discussions of the role of specific foods and food components in cancer prevention or promotion; to the emerging field of molecular epidemiology; to the molecular basis of nutrient effects, and to the potential of selected nutrition interventions.

The introductory paper gives a series of brief updates of selected aspects of diet and cancer including the concept of nature versus nurture, the specific issue of the role of dietary fat in breast cancer, ongoing and completed preventative antioxidant trials, dietary guidelines and the potential of bioengineering. This is followed by a more specific contribution describing the methodological and procedural background to the Italian arm of the European EPIC study of diet and cancer. At the time of the symposium, few data were available for presentation. 

This is followed by another more general article on nutritional factors in human cancer that briefly discusses issues such as the role of total energy intake, various food categories, potential food processing effects, nutrients influencing DNA metabolism, antioxidants and carcinogens in the diet. The energy issue is picked up in another chapter in relation to breast and colo-rectal cancer. Further chapters in this section discuss the role of alcohol, organochlorines in relation to breast cancer and olive oil consumption and cancer mortality. 

The second part of the book contains a number of chapters looking at aspects of cell growth and differentiation and the molecular basis of nutrient effects. Some chapters are very specific in nature such as those discussing regulation of p53 function in cells, or the effect of hydroxytyrosol, a polyphenol from olives; others are more general, such as those discussing the mechanism of protection of brassica plants or cell division cycles and human tumours. The final papers in the book discuss the role of molecular epidemiology in furthering our understanding of the diet/cancer nexus through discussion related to diet and colon cancer, phytochemicals, gene polymorphisms, DNA-adducts as tools in risk assessment and DNA repair pathways. Finally there are two contributions relating specifically to potential nutrition interventions with cereals and fibre or the carnitine system.

The contributors to the book are all experts in their field but because of the nature of the publication, this book does not provide a balanced update on developments in the diet and cancer field. Nevertheless, while the chapters in this book are quite brief, most are well referenced. As such, they may provide the non-specialist reader with an update and an entry point to the wider literature. As such, the book would be a valuable addition to libraries but may have limited appeal to individuals.

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