Many who suffer from arthritis take Celebrex and Vioxx to soothe aching
joints. The drugs block production of a chemical called COX-2, which causes
inflammation and may stimulate cancer growth. Ongoing research, funded by
the National Institutes of Health, indicates that arthritis medications may
prevent various forms of cancer. Dr. Ernest Hawk is from the National Cancer Institute.
"Well, in animal models and human epidemiological
studies, it appears that aspirin and aspirin-like drugs like Vioxx and
Celebrex may retard the development of cancer broadly. It's best shown
right now in the colon. There have been now about 35 studies done of that
issue and it appears that aspirin is an effective anti-cancer agent although
the details of how it might be best administered are still emerging."
The current research is focusing on the prevention of colon cancer, second only
to lung cancer as the leading killer of this disease.
This is Kelly Persinger, the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.