SAN FRANCISCOResearch 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
The study was funded in part by a research grant from McNeil Consumer