Celebrex shows potential in preventing some skin cancers

Washington, Dec 1 (ANI): A new study has shown that the NSAID Celebrex may help prevent some non-melanoma skin cancers from developing in patients who have pre-cancerous actinic keratoses lesions and are at high risk for having the disease.

The research team, led by University of Alabama at Birmingham senior scientist Craig Elmets, evaluated the efficacy and safety of celecoxib as a chemo-preventive agent for actinic keratoses.

In animal models, the cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor celecoxib, better known by its brand name Celebrex, inhibits the development of ultraviolet-induced pre-malignant skin papillomas, which are thought to correspond to actinic keratoses, the pre-malignant precursor of non-melanoma skin cancers

Currently, celecoxib is used to relieve pain, tenderness, swelling and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and spinal arthritis.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial looked at 240 subjects ages 37 to 87 years with 10 to 40 actinic keratoses at eight U.S. academic medical centers during an 11-month period.

At nine months after randomization, there was no difference in the incidence of new actinic keratoses developed between the placebo group and those receiving celecoxib, which was the primary endpoint of the study.

However, compared with the placebo, celecoxib when looked at duing the 11-month visit was highly effective in preventing nonmelanoma skin cancers from developing in subjects who had large numbers of actinic keratoses.

The results were published online Nov. 30, 2010, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. (ANI)

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