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New Prevention Weapon for Those at Risk for Colon Cancer

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Lynch tells WebMD that research has started looking at the drug's use in sporadic polyps at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

These patients are those who have a few polyps found during a colon exam and also are at increased risk for cancer for this reason. These usually are removed, but 40% of these polyps return in about a year, DuBois explains. "The drug might be useful for that as well," he says. By taking the drug, perhaps the polyps won't return, or not as many will return.

The study was supported by a contract with the NCI, a Cancer Center Support grant, and contracts with Searle Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Celebrex.

Vital Information:

  • The arthritis drug Celebrex may improve treatment for people with a rare disease, called familial adenomatous polyposis, which almost always leads to colon cancer.
  • Beginning as early as age 10, a person with FAP develops precancerous polyps in the colon, and the colon eventually is removed through surgery.
  • Taking Celebrex inhibits the growth of these polyps by 30%, and researchers hope this may allow surgery to remove the colon to be delayed until after the teen-age years.

 

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