PHILADELPHIA (September 10, 2018)— Chemoprevention was effective in reducing the incidence of colorectal cancer in a new study, but the therapies worked differently depending on whether mice presented with or without benign tumors at the time the intervention started. The paper, by Wen-Chi Chang, PhD, an assistant research professor at Fox Chase Cancer Center, appears online in Gut, a peer-reviewed journal published by BMJ.
Chang and colleagues examined the cancer preventive activity of the cholesterol-lowering agent atorvastatin – the generic form of Lipitor – alone and in combination with the anti-inflammatory drug sulindac in mice confirmed by colonoscopy to be tumor-free or bearing colorectal tumors at 7-8 weeks of age. After 14 weeks of treatment, atorvastatin completely eliminated the formation of microadenomas, the earliest detectable lesions in the development of colon adenomas, in tumor-free mice. In contrast, the combination treatment reduced the number of colon adenomas only in mice that had colon tumors at the time of study enrollment.
“These results indicate that physicians need to consider the prior colon tumor history of a high risk subject when selecting a chemopreventive regimen, to ensure that the protection afforded is optimal,” said Margie Clapper, co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase and senior author of the study.
Funding supported by an appropriation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a donation from Aurora M and Timothy P Hughes, and by grants CA-129467 and
CA-006927 from the National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.