Toward the future of cancer prevention


Other chemopreventive agents have proven to be effective. M. D. Anderson researchers have found that:

  • A low-dose baby aspirin proved effective as a modest colon cancer chemopreventive. A randomized clinical trial of more than 1,000 participants found it reduced the number of precancerous polyps by 19 percent. Robert Bresalier, M.D., chair of the Department of Gastrointestinal Medicine and Nutrition, helped lead this national effort.
  • Celecoxib, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) known by the trade name Celebrex, reduced the number of colon polyps in people who have familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), in which hundreds of precancerous polyps form in the colon and rectum. The study, led by researchers at M. D. Anderson and St. Mark's Hospital, London, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, led to federal approval of Celebrex for FAP patients.
  • Supplements of selenium and vitamin E unexpectedly reduced the incidence of prostate cancer by up to two-thirds in trials testing them for different cancers. These observations led to the ongoing international Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) in more than 32,000 patients. M. D. Anderson leaders of SELECT include Lippman and Elise D. Cook, M.D., who led the national effort to recruit minority men, especially African-Americans, who have the highest risk of prostate cancer in the world. Cook's successful campaign resulted in the highest percentage of African-Americans ever recruited to a large-scale cancer prevention trial.
  • The spice curcumin (found in turmeric and curry powders) has shown dramatic results in preventing cancer in animal studies, and has led to clinical studies at M. D. Anderson with patients that have pancreatic cancer or multiple myeloma. A trial with breast cancer patients is expected to begin in 2005. Patients in these trials take curcumin capsules daily.

A number of ongoing chemoprevention tria

Contact: Nancy Jensen
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

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