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Celecoxib Shown to Prevent Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers

Posted: December 21, 2010

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The finding that celecoxib did not reduce the number of precancerous lesions was inconsistent with animal studies showing that celecoxib reduced both precancerous lesions and nonmelanoma skin cancers. However, the drug's efficacy against later stages of tumor development was consistent with findings of trials of celecoxib for colorectal adenoma.

The FDA terminated the study early, after preliminary findings from a concurrent trial of another cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor showing an increased risk of cardiovascular adverse events. The fact that no adverse cardiovascular events were found with this trial could be because the study participants were only taking it for nine months, the researchers point out. Another trial showed that adverse events occurring only after one year of rofecoxib, a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor.

In an accompanying editorial, Frank L. Meyskens Jr. MD, and Christine E. McLaren, MD, of the University of California, Irvine, write that the fact that celecoxib was effective in reducing the number of nonmelanoma skin cancers, but not the number of precancerous lesions may suggest that pathways of carcinogenesis differ between early- and late-stage tumor development.

The editorialists say future trials of celecoxib might try lowering the frequency of celecoxib administration, given the adverse cardiovascular events shown by other trials, or use a lower dosage in combination with other compounds with proven efficacy in colorectal adenoma.

Story source: The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Journal of the National Cancer Institute, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.