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New Form of Painkiller May Fight Colon Cancer

Lab tests suggest that variation of naproxen might nip cancer in the bud, expert says,,

WEDNESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Adding to previous research suggesting that painkillers can reduce the risk for colon cancer, researchers report that an investigational form of the drug naproxen blocks a molecular process that leads to the disease.

Commonly known by such brand names as Aleve, Anaprox and Naprosyn, the standard form of naproxen is a generic pain medication.

Though the drug has been tested only in the laboratory, not on people, "it appears that the investigational form of naproxen we studied may be more effective than standard naproxen in inhibiting colorectal tumor development," Margie Clapper, co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, said in a news release from the center. "An added benefit would be the reduced gastrointestinal toxicity of this novel type of naproxen."

Researchers found that the new type of naproxen, known as NO-naproxen, appeared to block a signaling pathway that plays a role in the formation of colorectal cancer.

Based on laboratory data, "we think that NO-naproxen is much better than naproxen in nipping this whole process in the bud," Clapper said.

The scientists are testing their finding in mice but do not yet have the results.

The study findings were scheduled to be released at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, April 17 to 21 in Washington D.C.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about colon cancer.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: Fox Chase Cancer Center, news release, April 21, 2010

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