Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2008 Jun;1(1):32-8
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, USA.
Preclinical studies of chemoprevention drugs given in combination at low doses show remarkable efficacy in preventing adenomas with little additional toxicities, suggesting a strategy to improve risk to benefit ratios for preventing recurrent adenomas. Three hundred seventy-five patients with history of resected (> or =3 mm) adenomas were randomly assigned to receive oral difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) 500 mg and sulindac 150 mg once daily or matched placebos for 36 months, stratified by use of low-dose aspirin (81 mg) at baseline and clinical site. Follow-up colonoscopy was done 3 years after randomization or off-study. Colorectal adenoma recurrence was compared among the groups with log-binomial regression. Comparing the outcome in patients receiving placebos to those receiving active intervention, (a) the recurrence of one or more adenomas was 41.1% and 12.3% (risk ratio, 0.30; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-0.49; P < 0.001); (b) 8.5% had one or more advanced adenomas, compared with 0.7% of patients (risk ratio, 0.085; 95% confidence interval, 0.011-0.65; P < 0.001); and (c) 17 (13.2%) patients had multiple adenomas (>1) at the final colonoscopy, compared with 1 (0.7%; risk ratio, 0.055; 0.0074-0.41; P < 0.001). Serious adverse events (grade > or =3) occurred in 8.2% of patients in the placebo group, compared with 11% in the active intervention group (P = 0.35). There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients reporting hearing changes from baseline. Recurrent adenomatous polyps can be markedly reduced by a combination of low oral doses of DFMO and sulindac and with few side effects.