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New Drug Duo Helps Cut Colon Cancer Risk
Date:4/15/2008

And cancer drug Sutent may slow liver cancer progression, scientists report

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- A new drug duo might help prevent colorectal cancer, and the powerful new cancer drug Sutent may slow the progression of liver cancer.

So conclude two studies presented Monday at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Diego.

In the first report, researchers found that a two-drug regimen made up of low doses of difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) plus sulindac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), cut the risk of colorectal adenomas by up to 95 percent. Colorectal adenomas are an early sign of colon cancer.

"We really think we are on track to develop a medical means to prevent colon cancer," lead researcher Dr. Frank L. Meyskens, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Irving, told reporters during a Monday afternoon teleconference.

Meyskens believes the drug combo could be used for people at high risk for colon cancer to prevent the disease from developing. It could also be used by those who have already had colon cancer, to help prevent its return, he said.

In the phase III trial, researchers studied 375 people with a history of colorectal polyps. They randomly assigned patients to a combination of DMFO and sulindac or placebo. Patients were followed for three years.

Patients taking the combination of drugs saw a 70 percent reduction in the risk of a new adenoma compared with patients receiving placebo.

For people who had advanced adenomas, the risk of developing new adenomas was reduced by 92 percent among those on the drug combination, Meyskens said.

Moreover, patients taking the drug combination who had had large adenomas saw a 90 percent reduction in their risk of developing new adenomas compared with patients taking placebo.

"The real home run was that we had a 95 percent decrease in
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