Celebrex May Inhibit Skin Cancer in High-Risk Patients

Men and women who are susceptible to developing skin cancer may be able to take preventive measures with the prescription drug Celebrex. According to a recent study that monitored the effects of Celebrex on people with a skin disorder called Gorlin syndrome, a condition that predisposes the individual to developing basal cell carcinoma, Celebrex may be effective in inhibiting the development of skin cancer in some patients.

The results of the placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, Phase II study were published in the January issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research. Celebrex is the brand name for the drug celecoxib and is produced by Pfizer, Incorporated, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

The goal of the study was to reduce the number of basal cell carcinomas in individuals with Gorlin syndrome. According to Ervin Epstein, Jr., M.D., and senior scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Oakland Research Institute in Oakland, California, “The underlying idea is if we can find something in these high-risk patients that could be translatable to the “normal” population, then we could ultimately use that form of chemoprevention to reduce the number of skin cancer in all people.” (Source: MedicalNewsToday.com)

Results of another study were also recently published in the January issue of Cancer Prevention Research. In this study, clinical researchers evaluated the effects of cyclooxygenase inhibition as a form of cancer treatment. Researchers report that the results of both studies indicate that there may soon be more options for treating patients with basal cell carcinoma, and combination therapies may soon be on the horizon for those who have been diagnosed with melanoma and other types of skin cancers.

While there are several benefits to taking Celebrex, the drug still has side effects including the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Further Reading

  • Up until now, dermatologists have been trying a variety of different skin removal techniques to get rid of precancerous skin lesions.

  • Topical agents, diet and certain medicines presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2010 in Chicago is showing promise for preventing UV-induced skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, and dermatologists are now encouraging the public to be conscientious about the amount of sun they are exposed to, and taking extra steps to use broad-spectrum sunscreen on a regular basis.

  • Individuals with a rare skin disease called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) can improve their condition with the transfer of bone marrow stem cells. A team of medical researchers has found that bone marrow stem cells can effectively treat the disease and help to repair the skin and speed up the healing process. This skin disease cannot be treated with conventional dermatology procedures.