Celecoxib, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), did not prevent cancer in patients with Barrett’s esophagus in a placebo-controlled study, according to new research published in the April 4 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The incidence of Barrett’s esophagus—a precancerous change in the lining of the esophagus that increases the risk of developing esophageal cancer—is on the rise in the United States. Previous studies have suggested that aspirin and other NSAIDs might decrease the risk of esophageal cancer.
In a randomized controlled phase II trial, Elisabeth I. Health, M.D., of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, and colleagues randomly assigned 100 Barrett’s esophagus patients to take 200 mg of celecoxib or a placebo twice a day. After 48 weeks of treatment, there was no difference in the progression to esophageal cancer between the two groups.
"The lack of secondary chemoprevention with celecoxib in patients with Barrett’s [esophagus] was disappointing. However, [the trial] is one of the few prospective chemoprevention trials in patient’s with Barrett’s [esophagus], and through it, we have gained valuable information about the disease process and the challenges of conducting such a study," the authors write.
Note: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute.
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