Anti-Inflammatory Rx for Esophageal Cancer?

Esophageal tumors in rats shrink in presence of tolfenamic acid

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) Anti-inflammatory drugs are demonstrating impressive anti-cancer benefits. Long-term use of aspirin, for example, is associated with lower risks of colon, prostate and even lung cancer.

Now an anti-inflammatory may be used to treat another type of cancer.

In preclinical animal studies, scientists have found that an anti-inflammatory drug reduces the growth of esophageal tumors. The drug, tolfenamic acid (TA), is currently used to treat inflammation, pain and acute migraines.

"Ask your doctor about aspirin therapy."

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, led by Pius Maliakal, PhD and Riyaz Basha, PhD, found that TA prevented the growth and reduced the size of esophageal tumors in a rat model.

The drug apparently decreases proteins that play pivotal roles in cancer cell growth and progression.

The MD Anderson Orlando team has been leading the research efforts into the potential anti-cancer therapeutic value of TA.

Drs. Maliakal and Basha found that tolfenamic acid works similarly in blocking the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors.

MD Anderson Orlando Cancer Institute will begin a Phase 1 clinical trial to test TA in esophageal cancer in several months.

Currently, tolfenamic acid has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. It's approved as an anti-inflammatory agent in Asia, Europe and South America.

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Review Date: 
July 5, 2012
Last Updated:
December 10, 2012