The process of carcinogenesis is complex and not easy to eliminate. It includes the initial occurrence of genetic alterations which can lead to the inactivation of tumor-suppressor genes and further accumulation of genetic alterations during tumor progression. Looking for food and food components with biological properties, collectively called nutraceuticals, that can hinder such alterations and prevent the inactivation of tumor-suppressor genes is a very promising area for cancer prevention.
Many animal and in vitro experiments have shown that the supplementation of diet with vitamin E within a certain dose range reduced the risk of chemical- and radiation-induced cancers. In vitro studies revealed that alpha-tocopheryl succinate (TS) induced differentiation and growth-inhibition in certain animal and human tumor cells in culture, whereas alpha-tocopherol (alpha-T), alpha-tocopheryl acetate (alpha-TA) and alpha-tocopheryl nicotinate (alpha-TN) were ineffective,