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A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of the Effects of Rofecoxib, a Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitor, on Rectal Polyps in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Patients

key information

source: Clinical cancer research

year: 2003

authors: Tetsuro Higuchi, Takeo Iwama, Keigo Yoshinaga, Masahiro Toyooka, Kenichi Sugihara, Makoto M Taketo,


PURPOSE : The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a specific cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, rofecoxib, on rectal polyps in familial adenomatous polyposis patients.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN : This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of rofecoxib in the rectum. Initially, 21 patients were assigned randomly in a 1:1 ratio to receive either 25 mg rofecoxib once a day or a placebo p.o. for 9 months. Patients underwent endoscopy at the beginning of the study and then every 3 months thereafter. We reviewed the videotapes to measure the number and size of polyps in the same area throughout the study period in each individual patient.

RESULTS : The polyp number, measured as the percentage of change from the baseline values, was significantly decreased in the rofecoxib group at 3, 6, and 9 months. At 9 months, the polyp number in the rofecoxib group decreased by 6.8% from the baseline values, whereas that in the placebo group increased by 3.1%. The 9.9% difference between the rofecoxib and placebo groups was statistically significant (P = 0.004). At 9 months, the rofecoxib group showed a significant reduction from the baseline in polyp size as compared with the placebo group (-16.2% versus 1.5%; P < 0.001). There was no statistically significant increase in the incidence of any adverse events in treatment with rofecoxib compared with placebo (P = 0.922).

CONCLUSIONS : In this study, once-daily treatment with 25 mg rofecoxib, a cyclooxygenase 2-specific inhibitor, significantly decreased the number and size of rectal polyps in familial adenomatous polyposis patients.

organization: Tokyo Medical and Dental University

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