Cancer has become one the most common causes of death in developed countries and has been defined as the medical challenge of our times. Accumulating evidence support the notion that prevention can be a major component of cancer control. Chemoprevention, a relatively new and promising strategy to prevent cancer, is defined as the use of natural and/or synthetic substances to block, reverse, or retard the process of carcinogenesis. Plant-based foods, containing significant amounts of bioactive phytochemicals, may provide desiderable health benefits beyond basic nutrition to reduce the process of cancer. In the last few years, proteins and peptides have become one group of nutraceuticals that show potential results in preventing the different stages of cancer including initiation, promotion, and progression. Lunasin is a 43- amino acid peptide identified in soybean and other plants whose anti-carcinogenic activity has been demonstrated both in in vitro and in vivo assays. Moreover, this peptide has been found to exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could contribute to its chemopreventive effects. Lunasin's bioactivity and its molecular mechanism(s) of actions are summarized in this review.
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