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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

ISSN Print: 0893-9675
ISSN Online: 2162-6448

Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevOncog.v5.i1.10
pages 1-22

Chemoprevention and Therapy of Cancer by d-Limonene

Pamela L. Crowell
Department of Human Oncology and the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wl 53792
Michael N. Gould
Department of Human Oncology and the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wl 53792

ABSTRACT

The naturally occurring monoterpene d-limonene has chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activity against many rodent solid tumor types. The chemopreventive activity of limonene during initiation can be attributed to the induction of phase I and phase II enzymes, with resulting carcinogen detoxification. The chemopreventive activity of limonene during promotion/progression may be due in part to inhibition of the posttranslational isoprenylation of growth-controlling small G proteins, such as p21ras. The complete regression of mammary carcinomas by limonene appears to involve tissue redifferentiation. The multiple antitumorigenic effects of limonene are attainable at a high therapeutic ratio, suggesting that limonene and related monoterpenes may be efficacious in the chemoprevention and chemotherapy of human malignancies.