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Celebrex Plus Lipitor Could Fight Prostate Cancer
Date:4/14/2008

Combining painkiller with statin slows tumor progression, mouse study suggests

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Two widely used drugs -- one lowers cholesterol and one is an anti-inflammatory -- may be useful in controlling prostate cancer.

New research being presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Diego finds that the painkiller Celebrex and the statin Lipitor, when used together or alone, can stop early prostate cancer before it becomes deadly.

The study was conducted in mice so the idea isn't yet ready for clinical use, but experts said these preliminary results did look promising.

"They need to come up with the molecular mechanics and then take it back to clinical trials," said Dr. K. Scott Coffield, a professor of surgery at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and a urologist-oncologist at Scott & White. "It's early but it's interesting and that's wonderful."

"It's very intriguing and it gives some clinical data, but it's not enough to start recommending these medications for people who don't need them for other reasons," added Dr. Ronald D. Ennis, director of radiation oncology at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, Continuum Cancer Centers, in New York City.

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cancer killer in men in the United States. In the early stages, prostate tumors depend on androgen (male) hormones such as testosterone to grow. As such, early treatment typically involves interfering with these hormones but these therapies eventually lose their effectiveness. Tumors that are dependent on androgen are typically less aggressive than later tumors that don't rely on androgen.

Epidemiological studies have suggested that statins (such as Lipitor) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Celebrex) may be able to stop the progression from an early cancer to a later, more aggressive malignancy.

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