Investigational new drugs

Chemopreventive effects of tolfenamic acid against esophageal tumorigenesis in rats.

PMID 21197621


The primary objective of this study is to identify small molecules that target critical transcription factors for potential application in the chemoprevention of esophageal cancer. Specificity proteins (Sp) play a critical role in the growth and metastasis of several malignancies including esophageal cancer. Researchers at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando Cancer Research Institute have reported previously that tolfenamic acid (TA) inhibits cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth through the degradation of Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4. We evaluated the chemopreventive properties of TA against esophageal tumorigenesis in N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA)-induced murine tumor model. Fischer-344 rats were treated with NMBA (0.5 mg/kg s.c. 3 times a week) for 5 weeks to initiate the tumor formation, and then treated with 50 mg/kg TA from week 6 through week 25. Tumor incidence, tumor multiplicity (number of papilloma per rat), and tumor volume were evaluated after 25 weeks. All rats in the control group that received only NMBA developed lesions (100% incidence), while the TA-treated group showed significantly lower (33%) tumor incidence and tumor multiplicity. Furthermore, the tumor volume was significantly diminished in the TA-treated group when compared with the control group. Using small molecules such as TA to target key transcription factors associated with tumorigenesis for the prevention of esophageal malignancies is a new and promising strategy. Results of the current study provide evidence that TA, when given orally after tumor initiation, can significantly suppress tumorigenesis induced by carcinogenic nitrosamines in rats. These appealing results demonstrate that TA may potentially serve as an effective chemopreventive agent in patient populations vulnerable to esophageal cancer.

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