The anti-inflammatory drug colchicine, which is often used as a treatment for gout, may also be effective in preventing liver cancer in patients with hepatitis virus-related end-stage liver disease, Mexican researchers said in a new study.
The study followed 186 patients with cirrhosis of the liver due to viral disease. 116 received colchicine, while the others received no treatment. Researchers at the Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, Mexico City said that of those treated with the drug only 9 percent developed liver cancer, while 29 percent of untreated patients developed the disease.
The study also found that patients treated with the drug developed cancer later than those not treated with it. The study appears in the Oct. 15 issue of Cancer.