LEBANON, N.H., Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The painkiller ibuprofen was associated with a reduced risk of bladder cancer in patients in northern New England, U.S. researchers say.
Margaret Karagas of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University and Richard Waddell of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University said New England has a high mortality rate for bladder cancer.
Researchers enrolled 1,171 participants in Vermont and Maine newly diagnosed with bladder cancer and 1,418 participants who did not have bladder cancer.
Karagas added a genetic component and looked at 39 genes related to NSAID metabolism and studied a new class of NSAIDs known as selective cyclooxygenase -- COX-2 -- inhibitors, such as celecoxib, or Celebrex.
The findings, published in the International Journal of Cancer, suggested regular use of non-aspirin non-selective NSAIDs, particularly ibuprofen, may reduce bladder cancer risk, especially among regular users for 10 years or more.
However, observed reduction in risk was specific to individuals carrying a specific allele or variant of a gene related to NSAID metabolism, the study said.
Nonetheless, Karagas warned against leaping to any conclusions, because further investigation is needed.