Using Statin Drugs to Fight Cancer

A study is underway to determine if the cholesterol drugs can help in the cancer fight.

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St. Francis Hospital is participating in a new study that looks at how statin drugs may help in the fight against colon cancer.

"In the laboratory, people found that some of the same proteins that are involved in the development of colon cancer also seem to be related, for reasons we don't understand, to the process of putting cholesterol and plaques into blood vessels," said Dr. Jonathan Sporn.

Sporn is the Chief of the Section of Hematology and Oncology at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. He said that a medication cannot be approved as a preventative treatment unless it undergoes extensive research and testing.

The study focuses on people who have already had colon cancer and underwent successful surgery to cure it.

"They need to enter the study within a year after the surgery and as part of their routine follow-up for their cancer they would be getting routine colonoscopies, blood tests," said Dr. Sporn.

Participants will take either Crestor or a placebo and will be monitored for five years by doctors and research nurses.

Colon cancer is the third most common cause of death in both women and men.

Anyone interested in finding out if they are eligible for the study can contact Deb Celani at St. Francis Hospital at (860) 714-7982.

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