Arthritis Drug Tested to Prevent Polyps

CHICAGO, May 14 (UPI) — U.S. researchers are testing if the drug Celebrex, or celecoxib, can help prevent the growth of precancerous polyps that can form in children.

In the inheritable disease familial adenomatous polyposis children as young as age 10 can begin to grow polyps in the colon, rectum and small intestine.


Principal investigator Dr. Marc Brand, a colorectal surgeon at Rush University Medical Center Rush in Chicago, said by the age of 40, the hundreds or even thousands of polyps in those with familial adenomatous polyposis will become malignant unless the colon had been removed.

Brand said Celebrex, used to treat the pain of arthritis, has already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to suppress polyp formation in the rectum.

In the trial, 200 patients, ages 10-17, who have tested positive for the disease will be divided in two groups. One group will receive the drug and the second group will be given a placebo. The researchers will assess if the drug is effective in preventing the formation of polyps over a five-year period.

“Surgery is currently the standard treatment for this disease, and because the formation of polyps is relentless, patients often require multiple surgeries,” Brand said in a statement.

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