(Bangor, Maine) – Colorectal cancer is the second-most common cause of cancer death in Maine, according to the American Cancer Society. Today, Mainers have the opportunity to participate in a study aimed at reducing the incidence of colon cancer across the nation. Eastern Maine Medical Center is enrolling patients in a national clinical trial that could lead to better long-term outcomes for colorectal cancer survivors and people who have had polyps removed from the colon. The trial investigates if a statin drug commonly used to lower cholesterol could prevent polyps from reoccurring.
People who have had a bowel resection to treat colorectal cancer or who have had polyps removed are at an increased risk of developing polyps in the future which could grow into cancerous tumors. This trial offered at EMMC and other cancer centers is the first large-scale study to investigate the potential connection between the statin drug and the growth of polyps.
The clinical trial has recently expanded to include patients who have been diagnosed with stage I, II, and III colorectal cancer, as well as people who have had non-cancerous polyps removed during a colonoscopy. The trial is being conducted by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project and funded by the National Cancer Institute.
“Colon cancer continues to impact the people of Maine at a rate that is higher than the national average,” said Dr. Thomas Openshaw, MD, clinical trial investigator and an oncologist at EMMC. “We are pleased to be able to participate in this clinical trial, as it could help Maine-based colon cancer survivors and those at risk of developing the disease in the future.”
Anyone who has been diagnosed with colon cancer in the last year, or who has had polyps removed during a recent colonoscopy can learn more about this trail by calling (207)973-4274.