Celebrex: Lower Breast Cancer Risk?
But Heart Safety Questions Remain
More Study Needed
Given the cardiovascular concerns about Cox-2 inhibitors, Harris says much more research is needed before they can be recommended for cancer prevention.
He adds that newer and safer formulations of the current drugs may be on the horizon. Studies could also help determine if lower doses of the drugs than are currently used for pain relief can provide the cancer-prevention benefits without the risks.
"We need to keep looking to tailor the doses and tailor the compounds," he tells WebMD. "We know that they are effective. We just have to balance the side effects and adverse events."
American Cancer Society spokeswoman Debbie Saslow, PhD, tells WebMD that the studies examining the role of Cox-2 inhibitors and other NSAIDs for breast cancer prevention are inconclusive.
Saslow is director of breast and gynecological cancers for the American Cancer Society.
"The data are not yet strong enough to make any recommendations about using these drugs to prevent breast cancer or any cancer," she says. "There are too many unanswered questions about safety."