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Animal Study Suggests Acetaminophen May Protect Against Colon Cancer

Animal Study Suggests Acetaminophen May Protect Against Colon Cancer

SAN FRANCISCO—Research conducted at New York Medical College, Valhalla, shows that acetaminophen may prevent early biologic changes that can lead to colon cancer.

In the study, presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting, rats were given low or high doses of 3,2´dimethyl-4-aminobiphenyl (DMAB), a chemical that mimics suspected human colon carcinogens (heterocyclic amines formed during cooking of protein), and acetaminophen or no acetaminophen.

In the animals given carcinogen alone, cellular changes that are common precursors to colon cancer were seen, in relationship to the dose. When the carcinogen was given after acetaminophen, the animals had significantly less cellular evidence of disease, especially gland cell hypertrophy and karyomegaly.

“In our study, even low levels of acetaminophen showed a powerful protective effect in colon cells exposed to DMAB,” said Gary M. Williams, MD, professor of pathology, New York Medical College, at an AACR poster session. “We noted these effects even in animals exposed to much higher doses of DMAB than a human would ever encounter.”

The study was funded in part by a research grant from McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

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