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Unlocking colon cancer with key of prevention

HOUSTON - An international team of scientists reports that a single 400-milligram daily dose of celecoxib, commonly called Celebrex and manufactured by Pfizer, significantly reduced recurrence of adenomas, or pre-malignant colon tumors - within three years of previous adenoma removal.

The New England Journal of Medicine today published findings from the Prevention of Spontaneous Adenomatous Polyps (PreSAP) study, involving more than 1,550 participants at 107 sites in 32 countries on six continents. The study was led by Nadir Arber, M.D., chair of the Integrated Cancer Prevention Center and professor of medicine and gastroenterology at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Bernard Levin, M.D., vice president of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

"Celecoxib 400 mg once daily significantly reduced colorectal adenoma occurrence, with a greater effect on advanced adenomas," said Arber.

As excess amounts of the protein cyclooxygenase (COX-2) are associated with adenomas and colon cancer, PreSAP researchers studied celecoxib - a selective COX-2 inhibitor - to prevent the pre-cancerous lesions.

"There is no doubt that celecoxib is an effective agent in reducing the size and occurrence of adenomas in patients with higher risks for colorectal cancer," said Levin.

In the placebo-controlled, double-blind PreSAP trial, study leaders randomly assigned participants to receive either a single 400-mg dose of celecoxib (approximately 930 subjects) or a placebo (nearly 630 subjects). Subjects received colonoscopies after one and three years to detect potential pre-malignant tumors and their sizes, as well the overall adenoma burdens for participants. All polyps were removed and examined by study pathologists.

At the conclusion of the trial, the cumulative adenoma rate for the celecoxib study group was 33.6 percent, while the cumulative rate of adenoma deve
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Contact: Claire Tyson
ctyson@mdanderson.org
713-794-1731
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
30-Aug-2006


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