Study sheds new light on how common painkillers prevent colon cancer

Building on earlier studies that have shown that common painkillers known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can reduce the risk of colon cancer in healthy people, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified a mechanism by which NSAIDs inhibit the development of colon cancer. Compared with normal cells, colorectal cancer cells have abnormally high levels of an immune system protein, IL-6. David Frank, MD, PhD, and his Dana-Farber colleagues have discovered that IL-6 triggers malignant growth by activating a protein called STAT1, which transmits signals that prevent the normal scheduled death of cells in the colon.

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