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The new drug derivative shown to greatly inhibit growth of colon cancer cells

10/19/2006


STONY BROOK, NY, October 17, 2006 – Patients who are prone to colon cancer may prevent the disease by taking a new form of aspirin – one that is much more potent than its commercially available counterpart, but, it appears, with almost none of the side effects.

IS ‘SUPERASPIRIN’ ANSWER TO COLON CANCER? STONY BROOK LAUNCHES KEY CLINICAL TRIAL STONY BROOK, NY, October 17, 2006 – Patients who are prone to colon cancer may prevent the disease by taking a new form of aspirin – one that is much more potent than its commercially available counterpart, but, it appears, with almost none of the side effects.

A Stony Brook University researcher, Basil Rigas, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, is putting “superaspirin” to the test through a clinical trial supported by a $3.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The study of nitric oxide-donating aspirin (AKA, “nitroaspirin” and “superaspirin”) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for clinical trial in men and women age 50 and over with a history of polyps or colon cancer after research completed last year by Dr. Rigas showed that nitroaspirin prevents colon cancer in laboratory animals. He expects that nitroaspirin will work the same in humans as a preventive drug.

“Studies in cell culture and animals have shown that this new aspirin is hundreds to thousands of times more potent than traditional aspirin in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells,” said Dr. Rigas. Additionally, Dr. Rigas said in people who participated in preliminary studies, nitroaspirin appeared to cause almost none of the side effects associated with traditional aspirin.

If proven to be effective in preventing disease, nitroaspirin could save thousands of lives per year. According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Americans, claiming more than 56,000 lives each year. If the disease is discovered early, it is a curable form of cancer in many patients. But it is frequently not diagnosed in its earliest stages because cancerous lesions in the colon grow slowly and people often experience no symptoms. In addition, the risk for disease recurrence remains high in a good portion of colon cancer patients. Therefore, preventing the disease or stopping it from occurring again would drastically reduce the number of Americans afflicted by colon cancer.

Traditional aspirin has been shown to be effective in clinical trials in preventing certain cancers, but it also is associated with significant adverse effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney damage, and allergic reactions ranging from mild to fatal.

Eight visits will be scheduled over a six-month period. Participants will receive compensation for each scheduled visit. Participants completing the study will receive a total of $1,500. Parking at Stony Brook University Medical Center for each visit is free. Physicians seeking to enroll their patients in the Stony Brook University/NCI colon cancer prevention trial, and individuals seeking to enroll should call Stony Brook University Medical Center's HealthConnect® at (631) 444-4000.

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