A combination of drugs is effective in colon cancer
As many as half of the population in the Western world will develop a benign colorectal tumour during their lifetime and around 10% of these will progress to malignancy. Although non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are associated can decrease colorectal cancer incidence, their gastrointestinal toxicity restricts their long-term use in people that are predisposed to colorectal tumor growth, such as those with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
However, researchers at Wyeth-Ayerst Research laboratories have discovered that combining the NSAID sulindac with a new drug that inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor kinase, EKI-569, can substantially reduce the amounts of NSAID required while being even more powerful at reducing colorectal polyp formation Nature Medicine (Vol 6, No. 9, September 2000).
The scientists fed mice modeling FAP a combination of the two drugs and found that this reduced polyp formation by as much as 95% over control animals-far more than either drug alone. These results suggest that the drug combination could be a powerful new strategy for the chemoprevention of colonic neoplasms that may be useful in humans.
In an accompanying News & Views article, Raymond Dubois and Rajnish Gupta of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, write, "the results may be a harbinger for the eventual development of effective combinatorial regimens for cancer prevention in humans." Moreover, they suggest testing the potency of EKI-569 in combination with one of the new, COX-2 inhibitor anti-inflammatory drugs, which they suggest, might be even more powerful.
Dr. Philip Frost
Pearl River, NY 10965
Dr. Raymond N. Dubois
Department of Medicine,
Vanderbilt University Medical Center,
Phone: 1 619-594-7936
Fax #: 619-594-7937
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
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