A new study has found that using ibuprofen on a regular basis may help reduce risk of bladder cancer, especially in those with certain genetic marker.
In a 2012 collaborative project with the National Cancer Institute, Margaret Karagas, PhD, co-director, Cancer Epidemiology and Chemoprevention program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and Professor of Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and Richard Waddell, D.Sc, Research Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, looked for connections between ibuprofen use and bladder cancer.
Karagas did an earlier study on the relationship between bladder cancer and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) usage in New Hampshire.
The new study included patients in Vermont and Maine. Researchers enrolled 1,171 participants newly diagnosed with bladder cancer and 1,418 participants who did not have bladder cancer. Karagas also added a genetic component looking at thirty-nine genes related to NSAID metabolism and studied a new class of NSAIDs known as selective cyclooxygenase (COX-2) inhibitors, such as celecoxib (Celebrex).
The findings in the recent study suggested that "regular use of nonaspirin nonselective NSAIDs, particularly ibuprofen, may reduce bladder cancer risk, especially among regular users for 10 years or more."
However, the study also noted that observed reduction in risk was specific to individuals carrying a specific allele (or variant of a gene) related to NSAID metabolism.
For Karagas one of the novel findings was a trend of an increased risk of bladder cancer for those using selective COX-2 inhibitors, especially celocoxib (Celebrex).
But Karagas warns against leaping to any conclusions, noting, "further investigation is needed."
Karagas also stresses that this study "does not make any recommendations. It does not, in any way, suggest that patients begin taking ibuprofen as a prophylactic measure against bladder cancer, nor should patients go off any medicine prescribed by their doctor."
Their results were published in the International Journal of Cancer (June 2012).