Friday, January 15, 2016

FDA approved drug might be effective in preventing colorectal cancer for some

Link between obesity and colorectal cancer risk found

CANCER DIGEST – Jan. 15, 2016 – A drug FDA-approved for treatment of other bowel conditions may prevent colorectal cancer in obese people a new study shows.

Researchers looking to understand the link between obesity and an increased risk of colorectal cancer found that a key hormone in the intestine is blocked in mice on a high calorie diet, which in turn turned off a tumor suppression mechanism in intestinal cells.

The drug Linzess (linaclotide) is chemically related to the blocked hormone and might form the basis of an treatment approach to preventing colorectal cancer in obese patients, says the study’s senior author, Scott Waldman, MD, PhD at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

"Our study suggests that colorectal cancer can be prevented in obese individuals with use of hormone replacement therapy," Dr. Waldman says, “much as other diseases associated with hormone deficiency, such as loss of insulin in diabetes, can be treated.”

The risk of developing colorectal cancer in obese persons is about 50 percent higher, compared to risk in lean people. Scientists had thought the issue was one based on the amount of fat tissue and the associated unknown metabolic processes but that did not turn out to be the case

In the study the researchers found that obesity either from excess fat or carbohydrate consumption, or both, is associated with loss of the hormone guanylin, which is produced in the cells lining the intestines. Morbidly obese patients exhibit an 80 percent decrease in guanylin gene expression compared to lean people.

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