Novel Use of Aspirin for Colon Cancer Prevention
The American Cancer Society estimates that colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in 147,000 Americans in 2003 and will cause 57,100 deaths, making it the second-leading cancer killer.
A seven-year randomized, double-blind study lead by Dartmouth researchers determined that daily low dose of aspirin can prevent the development of precancerous polyps in patients with an elevated risk for colorectal cancer. The study looked at 1,100 patients with previously diagnosed colorectal adenomas. Some patients received 81 mg or 325 mg of aspirin, while others received a placebo. Interestingly, the group which received lower doze of the drug, showed a lower incidence of recurring polyps than the group treated with the larger doze.
Overall, study participants treated with a daily dose of baby aspirin found their risk of polyps reduced 19% and their risk of advanced lesions reduced by more than 40%. Another study, conducted among patients with a history of cancer of the colon or rectum, tested with a regular 325mg aspirin tablet against placebo, showed a 35% reduction in the occurrence of adenoma.
This research provides support for the emerging theory that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, may reduce a variety of malignancies. Although there is evidence that inflammation plays a role in many cancers, the strongest support for the beneficial effects of NSAIDs has been for colorectal cancer. Previous non-randomized studies have found that people who were taking aspirin for a variety of reasons, such as to reduce the risk of heart disease or alleviate arthritis pain, were less likely to develop colon cancer.
This technology is claimed in the published United States Patent Application Nos. 10/382,172 and 10/506,109. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization. (Ref: J188)
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