James Church, MD: Colonoscopy Increases Leading to Colorectal Cancer Decrease

November 2, 2020
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

In data presented at ACG 2020, researchers show a combination of sulindac and eflornithine could be effective for FAP patients.

While the rate of colorectal cancers is increasing or stabilizing in other parts of the world, it is decreasing in the US.

The reason for the drop in the most common gastrointestinal cancer is largely credited to a drastic increase in colonoscopies, which allows doctors to detect the cancer early and begin treatment.

While colorectal cancer is curable if caught early enough, there still is a need for new treatments.

In data presented during the annual American College of Gastroenterology (2020) conference, a team of researchers found a combination of sulindac and eflornithine could decrease the risk of progression and delay the need for lower gastrointestinal surgery for patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

The investigators found this treatment resulted in a benefit in FAP patients with an intact colon, ileorectal anastomosis (IRA), or ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA)

In a phase 3 study, disease progression was found in 3.7% of the 54 patients in the combination arm, 17% of the 53 patients in the sulindac arm, and 19.6% in the 51 patents in the eflornithine arm.

In an interview with HCPLive®, James Church, MD, Director of the Sanford R. Weiss Center for Hereditary Colorectal Neoplasia in the Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease and Surgical Institute, explained how the US is able to decrease colorectal cancer rates and whether the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will have an impact on cancer research.


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