You’ve got to imagine that at the end of clinical trials, many subjects feel a huge relief when they find they’ve been taking the placebo. Who WOULDN’T want to take a sugar pill rather than Vioxx, Avandia, hormone replacement therapy, etc., etc.?
Here’s one of those studies…
Researchers from several cancer research centers recruited 60 people with a genetic predisposition to the most common form of cancer: basal cell skin cancer.
Animal research has shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may curb basal cell growth. So for this study, about half the subjects were given a daily dose of Celebrex, the NSAID most commonly taken by arthritis patients.
Results showed that Celebrex slowed the progress of basal cell carcinoma compared to placebo, but only in patients with less severe cases of the cancer.
Anything else? Well, just this…
Celebrex carries a black box warning about increased risk of fatal heart attack and stroke. And: “This risk may increase with duration of use.” There’s also a note in there about higher risk of serious gastrointestinal events that can be fatal and may occur suddenly without symptoms.
Okay, let’s review: You’ve got a mild case of a mild cancer that’s fairly easy to treat and is rarely fatal. So to delay the growth of the cancer, we recommend you take a drug with killer side effects.
Sometimes a treatment is worse than the disease, but this is ridiculous!
“Basal Cell Carcinoma Chemoprevention with Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs in Genetically Predisposed PTCH1 Humans and Mice” Cancer Prevention Research, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1/1/10, cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org