Comparing the effects of COX and non-COX-inhibiting NSAIDs on enhancement of apoptosis and inhibition of aberrant crypt foci formation in a rat colorectal cancer model
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The protection against colorectal cancer (CRC) by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is in part dependent on inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX). We compared the efficacy of the non-COX-inhibiting R flurbiprofen (R-FB) with COX-inhibiting sulindac and racemic flurbiprofen (Rac-FB), and determined their effects on apoptosis, in an azoxymethane (AOM)-induced rat CRC model. In experiment 1, groups of rats were given daily drug gavage (R-FB 30 mg/kg, Rac-FB 10 mg/kg and Sulindac 20 mg/kg) for one week, followed by AOM treatment and were killed eight hours later, colons were examined for apoptosis and cell proliferation. In experiment 2, groups of rats were given two AOM treatments, followed by daily drug gavage until they were killed ten weeks later, colons were examined for aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and prostaglandin E 2 production. All drugs significantly enhanced apoptosis and inhibited ACF, irrespective of their COX-inhibiting potency (p<0.01), but sulindac was more potent in inhibition of large ACF, p<0.05. COX-inhibiting sulindac achieved the greatest protective effect. The greater safety profile of Rac-FB should provide an advantage for chemoprevention.