Cholesterol Drug May Prevent Colon Cancer

Clinical Trials


(Baton Rouge, La.) A new National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored study evaluates the cholesterol drug, Rosuvastatin (Crestor), as a treatment to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Rosuvastatin is a statin, a class of drugs that lower cholesterol. The study, titled, “P-5: Statin Polyp Prevention Trial in Patients with Resected Colon Cancer,” is being conducted by a network of cancer research professionals, the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), at 200 medical centers located throughout North America.

The study was developed because laboratory research and studies conducted in large populations of patients taking a statin to reduce cholesterol suggest that taking the drug may, also, decrease the number of colon polyps. Colon polyps can lead to colon cancer if left untreated.

The study will involve 1,740 patients, who have recently been diagnosed with early stage colon cancer, and who were not already taking stains for high cholesterol. Patients will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Each group will take one pill a day for five years. One group will receive Rosuvastatin, while the other group will receive a placebo.

“There will be an estimated 102,900 new cases of colon cancer in the United States this year. In fact, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in this country. We hope this trial will be an important step in reducing these numbers,” said Norman Wolmark, MD, NSABP’s chairman.

“The Cancer Program is pleased to bring this national trial to patients in our area. We believe it’s important for every cancer patient to have access to the most advanced clinical trials, close to home,” said Donna Bryant, Executive Director of Clinical Research for The Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “This trial also gives patient the opportunity to be a part of something that could benefit cancer patients everywhere.”

People recently diagnosed with a Stage I or II colon cancer and interested in the study should contact (225) 215-1353 or A list of other sites in North America that are participating in the study may be found at

Since its beginning more than 50 years ago, NSABP has enrolled more than 140,000 women and men in clinical trials in breast and colorectal cancer. NSABP has research sites at major medical centers, university hospitals, large oncology practice groups, and health maintenance organizations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Ireland. At those sites and their satellites, more than 5,000 physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals conduct NSABP treatment and prevention studies.
The Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins is the most comprehensive cancer program in the region offering patients the convenience of receiving high-quality, advanced cancer care in one location, close to home. The Cancer Program offers surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and has been accredited by The American College of Surgeons since 1992 – the gold-standard for community-based cancer care. This program is a participant in the prestigious National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP). For more information on our cancer program and the NCCCP, please visit or