Most Read Articles
01 Oct 2013

Heart disease is still New Zealand’s biggest killer, with one Kiwi dying from coronary heart disease every 90 minutes. Pharmacy Today New Zealand looks at how pharmacists can help

Dr. James Salisi, 01 Jul 2014

The recent spike in the number of new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the Philippines means that clinicians and pharmacists alike may need to increase their awareness and competency in prescribing and monitoring HIV treatment. Although taught in medical and pharmacy schools, the scarcity in exposure to clinical cases before highlights the need to for physicians and pharmacist to review HIV pharmacotherapy in order to cater to the increasing HIV patient population.

3 days ago
A recent study suggests that discontinuation of dexamethasone premedication after two uneventful infusions or reduction in the dose of dexamethasone paclitaxel premedication are both safe alternatives to high-dose steroid premedications recommended in product labelling.
01 Sep 2017
Complementary medicines can play an important part in maintaining wellness, preventing deficiencies and optimizing health outcomes, says Dr Lesley Braun PhD, Director of the Blackmores Institute. 

Aspirin, metformin and statins: Promising targeted adjuncts in rectal cancer

11 Aug 2017

Aspirin, metformin and statins demonstrate utility as adjuncts to neoadjuvant treatment in rectal cancer, resulting in increased downstaging of rectal tumours, according to a recent study.

Researchers performed a systematic literature search of studies investigating the use of drugs to enhance response to neoadjuvant radiation in rectal cancer. Of the 2,137 studies identified, only nine studies were included in the final review. A narrative review was conducted due to the limited number of randomized controlled trials and the heterogeneity of relevant trials.

Results showed that the use of statins or aspirin during neoadjuvant therapy led to a significantly higher rate of tumour downstaging. Statins particularly emerged as a significant predictor of complete tumour response, whereas aspirin was associated with a greater 5-year progression-free survival and overall survival.

Meanwhile, metformin use was associated with a significantly higher overall and disease-free survival, especially in a subset of rectal cancer patients with diabetes.

The results highlight a clear need for prospective randomized controlled trials to determine the true impact of statins, aspirin and metformin as adjuncts, singularly or in combination, and whether they confer an increase in response to neoadjuvant therapy or a long-term effect on survival, researchers said.

In rectal cancer, complete tumour response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy has been reported to reduce the risk of local recurrence and improve disease-free and overall survival. However, such response is achieved in only 20 to 30 percent of patients. [Dis Colon Rectum 2015;58:32–44; J Clin Oncol 2009;27:5124–5130; Surg Oncol Clin N Am 2010;19:829–845]

Optimizing response to treatment is now fundamental to improving outcomes from rectal cancer, in both early and locally advanced stages, especially because malignancies (as they develop) acquire both epigenetic and genetic changes that promote therapy resistance and evasion of apoptosis—an important hallmark of cancer. [Br J Surg 2014;101:1299–1309; Cell 2011;144:646–674]

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Most Read Articles
01 Oct 2013

Heart disease is still New Zealand’s biggest killer, with one Kiwi dying from coronary heart disease every 90 minutes. Pharmacy Today New Zealand looks at how pharmacists can help

Dr. James Salisi, 01 Jul 2014

The recent spike in the number of new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the Philippines means that clinicians and pharmacists alike may need to increase their awareness and competency in prescribing and monitoring HIV treatment. Although taught in medical and pharmacy schools, the scarcity in exposure to clinical cases before highlights the need to for physicians and pharmacist to review HIV pharmacotherapy in order to cater to the increasing HIV patient population.

3 days ago
A recent study suggests that discontinuation of dexamethasone premedication after two uneventful infusions or reduction in the dose of dexamethasone paclitaxel premedication are both safe alternatives to high-dose steroid premedications recommended in product labelling.
01 Sep 2017
Complementary medicines can play an important part in maintaining wellness, preventing deficiencies and optimizing health outcomes, says Dr Lesley Braun PhD, Director of the Blackmores Institute.