Posted on March 8th, 2009 by
The COX2-inhibitor Celebrex® (celecoxib) reduces the rate of colon adenomas at five years and appears safe, even among patients with cardiovascular disease. These results were recently presented as a late-breaking abstract at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Adenomas are abnormal growths that often arise in the colon and can potentially turn cancerous. Individuals who have adenomas are at an increased risk of developing future adenomas and are therefore encouraged to undergo more stringent screening, such as colonoscopy. Adenomas are removed during a colonoscopy to prevent the possibility that they may progress to cancer.
Celebrex is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent (NSAID) that may be used for controlling pain. Data has indicated that Celebrex may provide protection against the development of colon adenomas and colorectal cancer in some patients. Studies also indicated, however, that Celebrex may increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects. Research continues to evaluate the effectiveness of Celebrex in colon adenomas and colon cancer, as well as potential cardiovascular side effects.
Researchers from several medical institutions conducted a clinical trial, referred to as the Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib (APC) trial, to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Celebrex. This trial included more than 2,000 patients who were at a high risk of developing colon adenomas. Patients were treated with either Celebrex (400 mg), Celebrex (800 mg), or placebo (inactive substitute). Three years into the study, data was release about the potential increased risk of cardiovascular side effects associated with Celebrex. At this point the researchers offered patients the opportunity to continue observation for two years.
The researchers concluded: “[Celebrex] had a high rate of efficacy for reducing adenomas, and it persists even after discontinuing the drug.” However, they continued: “We can’t say that either dose is safe for a patient with cardiac risk factors.”
Patients who are at a high risk of developing colon adenomas may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of Celebrex or the participation in a clinical trial evaluating novel ways to reduce the rate of adenomas. Two sources of information regarding ongoing clinical trials include the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov) and http://www.eCancerTrials.com.
Reference: Bertagnolli M, et al. Celecoxib reduces sporadic colorectal adenomas: Results from the Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib (APC) trial. 2008 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Abstract CP-3.
Related News: Celebrex® Reduces Pre-cancerous Colorectal Tumors but Increases Cardiovascular Risks (8/31/2006)
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