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Cancer prevention: stopping cancer before it can start
Date:4/14/2008

revention of advanced prostate cancer by two commonly prescribed drugs, researchers found that a combination of atorvastatin and celecoxib potently inhibited the androgen-independent growth of prostate tumors in a laboratory model.

This represents a viable prevention strategy to stop the progression of prostate cancer from androgen-dependent to androgen-independent, which is much more aggressive and has limited therapeutic options, said Xi Zheng, Ph.D., M.D., assistant research professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Previous epidemiology research has shown that statins like atorvastatin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like celecoxib may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Zheng and colleagues assessed the effects of atorvastatin and celecoxib alone or in combination on androgen-independent growth of human prostate cancer cells cultured in vitro or grown as tumors in mice.

In the animal study, mice with an androgen-dependent tumor were deprived of androgen and randomly assigned to four groups: those receiving either 10 micrograms/gram body weight per day of atorvastatin or the same dose of celecoxib; those receiving a combination of each drug at 5 micrograms/gram body weight per day; or a control group receiving no drugs.

All mice had temporary tumor regression in the absence of androgen, but then the untreated mice experienced substantial tumor regrowth as the tumor become androgen-independent. Mice treated with a single drug had some reduction of androgen-independent tumor growth, while administration of atorvastatin and celecoxib in combination resulted in a more potent inhibition of androgen-independent growth than either drug alone. The agents appear to work by inhibiting a signal transduction pathway that is important for the growth of these cancer cells, Zheng said.

Although a high dose of celecoxib has been linked to a small increase in cardiovascular risk in prior human studies, Zhe
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Contact: Staci Vernick Goldberg
Staci.goldberg@aacr.org
267-646-0616
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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