Unlikely Drug Combo for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer treatment with Celebrex and Lipitor

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Prostate cancer doesn't occur in isolation, and recent research may give some peace of mind to prostate cancer patients already on medication for arthritis or high cholesterol.

Celebrex (celecoxib) and Lipitor (atorvastatin) are not just safe to use during treatment of prostate cancer, a recent study shows they may help fight it.

While individually these drugs are used for arthritis pain and lowering cholesterol, they also have effects on a molecule known as nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB) which helps many cancers grow larger.

"Ask your oncologist about using Celebrex and Lipitor."

Results from the ongoing phase II clinical trial on the two drugs were presented during the 2012 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium by a team from The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Laboratory studies in the past demonstrated that these two drugs blocking NFkB can stop prostate cancers from growing. When used together, the effect is even greater.

In this study, 16 patients previously treated for prostate cancer were followed for two and a half years. The prostate specific antigen, or PSA  level, was monitored during that time to track cancer growth.

Before the study took place, all of the patients had rising PSA counts, and the therapy definitively helped slow the trend, with one patient showing a decrease in PSA levels. 

Mark Stein, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, presented the research.

Dr. Stein noted that “by concentrating on drugs that already are FDA approved, we have the opportunity to bring new therapies to patients faster than if we were testing a brand new agent.”

Results are considered preliminary until published in a peer reviewed journal. Researchers stated no financial conflict of interest existed.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
February 10, 2012
Last Updated:
February 13, 2012