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Cholesterol drug may prevent polyps that lead to colon cancer

Date: 04.11.2011
Contact: Jennifer Farquhar Phone: (330) 375-4930

Contact: Jennifer Farquhar, Phone: (330) 375-4930, Email: farquharj@summahealth.org

AKRON, Ohio, April 11, 2011 – Is it a coincidence that colon cancer survivors taking a common cholesterol drug, Crestor, seem to develop fewer colon polyps than their counterparts? Summa Health System is enrolling patients in a new National Cancer Institute (NCI) study to find out.

“We know patients with a history of colon cancer are at increased risk for second cancers and that colon cancers start as polyps,” said Hematologist/Oncologist Jennifer Payne, MD, of Summa Physicians, Inc., in Akron, Ohio. “An opportunity to identify a simple risk reduction strategy in this population will hopefully lower incidence rates and deaths from this disease.”
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, 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 will involve 1,740 patients, who have recently been diagnosed with stage I or II 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 (Crestor), while the other group will receive a placebo.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer found in the United States, and The American Cancer Society expects 750 new cases in 2011 in the greater Akron-Canton area alone.

For more information on the topics in this article, contact Summa’s cancer clinical trials research office at (330) 375-6101.

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit www.summahealth.org or find us on Facebook a twww.facebook.com/summahealth and Twitter at www.twitter.com/summahealth.

National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project
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.

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