, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 2260-2266

Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents in chemoprevention of colorectal cancer at what cost?

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The objective was to provide a comparison of the known toxicities of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and the likelihood of benefit from colorectal cancer (CRC) chemoprevention attributed to them. Chemoprevention trials require large numbers of subjects followed over many years and are therefore very expensive and difficult. Hence, it is important that agents tested in these trials have a realistic expectation of actual use in the population. Data sources were published literature on the toxicity and CRC chemopreventive activity of NSAIDS. Presently available NSAIDS, used at their usual therapeutic doses, have a serious toxicity rate that quickly exceeds any benefit from CRC prevention. In contrast, low-dose aspirin is worth evaluating, especially because of the potential for simultaneous cardiovascular risk reduction. Possibly, low doses of other NSAIDS may have benefit, but this remains unproven. Synthesis of other NSAIDS, with less toxicity, is another approach towards making the toxicity-benefit ratio more favorable for the use of these agents for CRC prevention.