After surgical removal of primary colon cancer tumors from 34 patients, 16 of them received a short, simple two-drug treatment designed at Tel Aviv University, and the cancer spread (metastasized) Proven to significantly reduce risk.
Patients with colon cancer typically have about a 35% risk of metastasis after tumor removal.
However, only 2 of 16 patients (12.5%) who received the drug regimen experienced metastases 5 years after surgery compared to 50% in the control group of 18 patients.
Reducing stress is key
Study co-leader Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, professor at TAU’s School of Neuroscience and Psychological Sciences, said the researchers wanted to “intentionally find the safest and cheapest drug that could reduce the body’s stress-inflammatory response to surgery.” I searched,” he said. Reduces anxiety and Etodolac (Ettopane) prevents pain and inflammation.
Sixteen randomly selected patients received these drugs for 20 days from 5 days before to 2 weeks after tumor removal surgery at Sheba. Her other 18 patients received placebo drugs.
The findings confirm what every cancer patient knows: the anxiety surrounding cancer treatment comes with a physical toll.
“Stress during the waiting period for surgery, the stress and inflammatory response that the body produces during the surgery itself and during the body’s recovery period, and finally the fear of cancer recurrence – all of these negatively affect the body’s ability to fight metastasis. process,” says Ben-Eliyahu.
“These psychological and physiological conditions trigger a stress-inflammatory response that triggers the sufficient release of hormones from the prostaglandin and catecholamine families. ,” he explained.
“In addition, these hormones directly help cancer cells that remain in the body after surgery. Exposure to these hormones makes cancer tissue more aggressive and metastatic.”
clear statistical significance
Professors Ben-Eliyahu and Oded Zamora of TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine deliberately sought “short-term, inexpensive drug treatments without significant side effects” to treat stress and inflammation.
“The small numbers of subjects in both studies make it impossible to accurately estimate the size of the beneficial effect, but it does mean that the effect is statistically significant and not due to chance.
Ironically, the use of low-cost drugs can make it difficult to fund the large clinical trials that must be conducted to validate the results of the smaller trial at Sheba Medical Center. there is.
“We have to keep in mind that pharmaceutical companies have no financial incentive to support such research,” Ben-Eliyahu admitted.
“Our drugs are not patented. They are safe, inexpensive, and administered in a short course of treatment, just a few days. I want to become dependent on the drug.”
He expressed hope that funding for a large clinical study could be found.
Research results published in European Journal of Surgical OncologyBen-Eliyahu added, “It sounds too good to be true, but a study we did in 2017 found similar results in breast cancer tissue.”
An overview of the theories and principles underlying the research can be found in nature review cancer.