New NCI Sponsored Study Evaluates Cholesterol Drug as Treatment for Cancer

New NCI Sponsored Study Evaluates Cholesterol Drug as Treatment for Cancer 

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 is titled, “P-5:Statin Polyp Prevention Trial in Patient with Resected Colon Cancer” and is available at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer among 200 other medical centers throughout North America.

The study was developed because 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 involved 1,740 patients, who have recently been diagnosed with early stage colon cancer, and who were not already taking statins 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.

According to the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) Chairman it is estimated that there will be 102,900 new cases of colon cancer in the United States this year. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in throughout the country.

While the study in no way diminishes the importance of regular screening colonoscopies, it does offer a way of looking at additional opportunities to diminish the risk of colon cancer, a disease that seen more than often in patients.

Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center is committed to providing the most up-to-date and cutting edge treatments for patients. It is our privilege to be able to offer to interested patients the opportunity to participate in selected regional and national clinical trials. The cancer center’s dedicated oncology research nurse can help a patient understand and decide whether he or she may benefit from a clinical trial in conjunction with his or her physician.

People recently diagnosed with stage I or II colon cancer and interested in this study can contact Theresa Keefer, clinical research director at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center at (802) 440-4252. Visit to learn more about clinical trails.

You can learn more about breakthroughs in cancer treatments such as the study above at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s (SVMC) Cancer Speaking Seminar being held on March 31 at the Cambridge Hotel and Restaurant. Join medical staff from the cancer program at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center for FREE breakfast and informative discussions on cancer. The discussions will cover the latest in cancer screenings and treatments, including prostate, colon, and breast cancer as well as breakthroughs in cancer research. The seminar is free and will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Call Erica Cummings at (802) 447-5019 to reserve your seat today.


Dr. Orion Howard is an oncologist and medical director of SVMC’s cancer program. To learn more about SVMC and the cancer program, visit You can also follow SVMC on Facebook. “Health Matters” is a weekly column meant to educate readers about their personal health, public health matters, and public policy as it affects health care.