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Widely used arthritis pill protects against skin cancer
Date:12/2/2010

ection against squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas, there has been a determined effort to identify alternative ways to prevent sunlight-induced skin cancers. As part of this effort, Pentland and her collaborators conducted preclinical studies which indicated that the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) plays an important role in sunlight-induced skin cancers. These positive preclinical results led to the initiation of the current trial in humans.

Study authors stress that the identification of COX-2 inhibitors and other therapies that may prevent the incidence of skin cancer does not mean that sunscreen and other protective measures, such as wearing protective clothing and hats and avoiding outdoor activities during peak hours of sun exposure, should not be used to reduce the likelihood of skin cancer. It is likely that in the future a combination of medications that include sunscreens as well as COX inhibitors or other protective therapies will be used on a regular basis to decrease the incidence of skin cancer.

Overall, cancer caused by sunlight accounts for about half the cancer cases diagnosed in the United States. Between 1977-1978 and 1998-1999 in the Southwestern United States, the incidence of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma increased by 50 percent and 90 percent respectively in men, and by 22 percent and 110 percent respectively in women. Similar results have been observed in the northern United States.


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Contact: Emily Boynton
emily_boynton@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-1757
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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