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Different drug combinations work best for prevention versus treatment of colorectal tumors
Date:4/7/2013

WASHINGTON, DC (April 7, 2013)Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Once colorectal cancer has spread to other parts of the body, only 11 percent of patients will survive five years from the date of their diagnosis. Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomascancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. Adenocarcinomas begin as benign tumors called adenomas, which become malignant over time. By treating adenomas before they become cancerous, it could be possible to prevent colorectal cancer.

Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have tested the effectiveness of two promising drugs in preventing and treating colorectal adenomas in mice. A team led by Wen-Chi Chang, PhD, assistant research professor at Fox Chase, found that the effect of these drugs, which have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of other conditions, depends on whether adenomas are present when drug treatment begins. Chang will present these findings at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 on Sunday, April 7.

"We often get focused on either the preventive or therapeutic setting and don't think about how these drugs are maybe serving more than one purpose," says senior author on the study Margie L. Clapper, PhD, co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase. "The most exciting thing for us was to be able to track these tumors and for the first time distinguish between prevention and chemotherapy, and to show that one agent is maybe effective in both settings if used appropriately, or in this case, in combination with another agent."

Past studies in animals have shown that colorectal tumors can be suppressed by combined treatment with two drugs: a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory compound called sulindac and a cholesterol-lowering medication called atorvastatinwhose brand name is Lipitor. But in those studies, tumors were induced in an
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
diana.quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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