Drug May Prevent Colon Cancer

March 15, 2011

A new National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored study evaluates the cholesterol drug, Rosuvastatin, (Crestor) as a treatment to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Rosuvastatin is a statin, a class of drugs that lower cholesterol. The study, titled, “P-5: Statin Polyp Prevention Trial in Patients with Resected Colon Cancer,” is being conducted by a network of cancer research professionals, the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), at 200 medical centers located throughout North America.

The study was developed because laboratory research and studies conducted in large populations of patients taking a statin to reduce cholesterol suggest that taking the drug may, also, decrease the number of colon polyps. Colon polyps can lead to colon cancer if left untreated.

The study will involve 1,740 patients, who have recently been diagnosed with early stage colon cancer, and who were not already taking statins for high cholesterol. Patients will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Each group will take one pill a day for five years. One group will receive Rosuvastatin, while the other group will receive a placebo.

"There will be an estimated 102,900 new cases of colon cancer in the United States this year. In fact, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in this country. We hope this trial will be an important step in reducing these numbers,” said Norman Wolmark, M.D., NSABP’s Chairman.

"It is fortunate that residents of Southwest Missouri are eligible for this nation clinical trial through Cancer Research for the Ozarks (CRO),” says Dr. Robert Carolla, Principal Investigator. “Each patient who enrolls in the study makes a significant contribution in learning if Crestor can make a difference in the incidence of colon cancer."

People recently diagnosed with a Stage I or II colon cancer and interested in the study should contact Cancer Research for the Ozarks at (417) 269-4520. A list of other sites in North America that are participating in the study may be found by clicking HERE.

Since its beginning more than 50 years ago, NSABP has enrolled more than 140,000 women and men in clinical trials in breast and colorectal cancer. NSABP has research sites at major medical centers, university hospitals, large oncology practice groups, and health maintenance organizations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and Ireland. At those sites and their satellites, more than 5,000 physicians, nurses and other medical professionals conduct NSABP treatment and prevention studies.

CRO is a federally funded Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) which has been operational in the Ozarks for 25 years. It is supported by the National Cancer Institute, CoxHealth & Mercy Health System.

Media Contacts

Sonya Kullmann
Berryville, Branson, Cassville, Lebanon, Mountain View, Rolla, Springfield, Aurora
Phone: 417-820-2426