Skin Cancer Treatment - New Study Reveals Celecoxib May Help Prevent Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers

A clinical trial published online in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called Celecoxib may help prevent nonmelanoma skin cancers in patients with actinic keratosis.

Celecoxib works by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase 2, which has been linked to UV-induced nonmelanoma skin cancers.

With nonmelanoma cancers being so common in the United States, especially among young adults, more effective treatments have been a focus of researchers like Craig A. Elmets, MD of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Elmets and his colleagues conducted a double-blind randomized trial with 240 actinic keratosis or precancerous skin lesion patients. Participants were given either the NSAID celecoxib or a placebo during the trial.  Researchers monitored participant skin lesions at regular intervals throughout the trial.

According to the study, “The findings of this study, which showed that the celecoxib-treated individuals developed fewer nonmelanoma skin cancers than placebo-treated individuals, suggest that cyclooxygenase inhibitors may provide an additional benefit to sunscreens in the prevention of nonmelanoma skin cancers.”

While trial participants given celecoxib did not evidence fewer precancerous lesions, they did have a statistically significant fewer number of nonmelanoma skin cancers than the placebo group.

After another trial using a cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor led to findings of increased risk of cardiovascular risks, the FDA terminated Dr. Elmets’ study early.

Frank L. Mayskens Jr., MD and Chrsitine E. McLaren, PhD recommend a lower frequency or dosage of celecoxib administration in future trials to help alleviate cardiovascular risks.

Tags: ,