Anti-gout drug decrease risk for adenoma proliferation
Genoa/Philadelphia — The inexpensive anti-gout drug allopurinol can counteract colorectal adenoma progression, according to data presented yesterday at the 9th Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference (Philadelphia). Preliminary results from a Phase I/II study on patients with colorectal polyps suggest that both a 100mg and a 300 mg dose of allopurinol markedly decreased expression of the colorectal tumor tissue biomarker, Ki67, in patients who received the anti-gout medication for four to six weeks prior to removal of their polyps. In adenoma tissue, levels of Ki67 increased by 70% in patients taking placebo compared with only 6 percent in patients taking 100 mg allopurinol and 12 percent in patients taking 300 mg allopurinol. The effect may result from allopurinol’s effect as a scavenger of reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) explained lead investigator Andrea De Censi, director of the medical oncology unit at Galliera Hospital, Genoa. "These ROMs are thought to be important for development of tumor tissue and carcinogenesis. It is known today that ROMs activate crucial processes involved in cell growth, and in processes that inhibit programmed cell death, one of the main mechanisms involved in cancer control," he said. According to De Censi, previous research from a large case-control study conducted in Israel showed that patients under chronic allopurinol use for gout had a lower risk for colorectal cancer than a matched control group not using allopurinol.