Washington D.C. [USA], Dec. 20 : A team of researchers has determined the effectiveness of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and several supplements in preventing the recurrence of colorectal cancer after polyp removal.
The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, indicated that nonaspirin NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen) are better than all other compared therapies for preventing recurrence of adenomatous polyps within three to five years following initial polyp removal.
"Approximately, 85 percent of all colorectal cancers are thought to result from untreated adenomatous polyps," said the study's senior author, Dr M.
Hassan Murad, at Mayo Clinic in the US. "If we can find a way to stop their growth, we could prevent a majority of these cases," he added. Dr Murad further said, "We knew that aspirin and other NSAIDs have a protective effect and that a number of other nutritional supplements have also been studied for their effectiveness in preventing cancer." The researchers said that due to most colorectal cancers developing from this type of polyps, preventing them is a good proxy for colorectal cancer prevention.
The team conducted a meta-analysis of clinical trial data from 15 randomized control trials, reviewing information from 12,234 patients.
The studies included low- and high-dose aspirin therapy, calcium, vitamin D and folic acid, and compared each of them alone or in various combinations.
However, because of some of the other health risks of nonaspirin NSAIDs, they may not be the best choice for everyone.
The study showed that for most patients, nonaspirin NSAIDs work better than aspirin or a host of nutritional supplements to prevent the growth of advanced adenomas - a benign tumour formed from glandular structures in epithelial tissue.
The researchers cautioned that although low-dose aspirin was ranked second in preventive capabilities, the excess benefit over risk might, therefore, be favorable for many patients.