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Celebrex may help prevent some non-melanoma skin cancers
Date:11/30/2010

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. New research shows the NSAID Celebrex may help prevent some non-melanoma skin cancers from developing in patients who have pre-cancerous actinic keratoses lesions and are at high risk for having the disease.

The researchers, led by University of Alabama at Birmingham dermatologist and the study's lead author, Craig Elmets, M.D., evaluated the efficacy and safety of celecoxib as a chemo-preventive agent for actinic keratoses. The results were published online Nov. 30, 2010, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It will appear in the print edition of the journal Dec. 15.

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas are the most common malignancies in the United States. More than 2 million people are diagnosed each year with non-melanoma skin cancer and instances of malignancies are increasing, especially in young people. The direct treatment of these has been estimated to exceed $1.4 billion annually.

Previous research data has suggested that cyclooxygenase 2 is involved in the development of non-melanoma skin cancers. In animal models, the cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor celecoxib, better known by its brand name Celebrex, inhibits the development of ultraviolet-induced pre-malignant skin papillomas, which are thought to correspond to actinic keratoses, the pre-malignant precursor of non-melanoma skin cancers

Currently, celecoxib is used to relieve pain, tenderness, swelling and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and spinal arthritis. It also is can be used off-label to treat painful menstrual periods and pain from other causes and is used to reduce the number of polyps in the colon and rectum in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis. Celecoxib is in a class of NSAIDs called COX-2 inhibitors.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial looked at 240 subjects ages 37 to 87 years with 10 to 40 actinic keratoses at eight U.S. academic medical cent
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Contact: Jennifer Lollar
jpark@uab.edu
205-934-3888
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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