Synopses & Reviews
Arachidonic acid metabolites are known to playa regulatory role in a number of biological systems, in which they function as microenviron- mental hormones and intracellular signal mediators. One of the most exciting areas of research of these compounds is the one that studies the relationship between prostaglandins and tumor cell growth and function. In the last few years there has been an extraordinary evolution of data on prostaglandins (and related compounds) and cancer. This vol- ume is based on papers presented at the 1986 International Confer- ence on Prostaglandins and Cancer organized by the Italian National Research Council and the II University of Rome, and held in Rome, Italy, in June, 1986. This Conference brought together oncologists and specialists in the areas of prostaglandin chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, cellular and molecular biology to overview the actual state of knowledge on the role of eicosanoids in cancer and to focus on the key questions that need to be answered. The picture that comes out of this book describes a very complicated network of interactions between arachidonic acid metabolites and different as- pects of the complex phenomenon "cancer." Eicosanoids participate in carcinogenesis initiation and promotion, and their relationship with tumor promoters and growth factors is well established. During cancer growth, different prostaglandins can have different roles in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation and in metastasis formation; meanwhile evidence is accumulating for a pos- sible use of some of these compounds as antineoplastic agents.