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ACG: Mesalamine May Help Prevent Colorectal Cancer

Small study of patients with inflammatory bowel disease suggests chemopreventive potential

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Mesalamine may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, according to research presented this week at the 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Philadelphia.

Jeffrey Tang, M.D., of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and colleagues conducted a case-control study of 16 patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease and 23 matched controls with a similar family history of inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.

Of the ulcerative colitis patients who did not develop colorectal cancer, the researchers found that mesalamine usage was 100 percent compared to 76.9 percent in ulcerative colitis patients who did develop colorectal cancer. They also found that inflammatory bowel disease patients whose mesalamine dosages exceeded 5,068 grams had an 89 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer than inflammatory bowel disease patients who were matched for other major risk factors.

"This finding suggests an association between mesalamine use and reduced risk of colorectal cancer," Tang stated. Although these preliminary findings are provocative, the study authors added, further research in larger groups of patients with inflammatory bowel disease is needed to confirm the chemoprevention potential of mesalamine.

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