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Updates in chemoprevention research for hereditary gastrointestinal and polyposis syndromes.

Purpose of review: To critically examine recently published research in the area of chemoprevention in hereditary polyposis and gastrointestinal cancers, and to briefly review several ongoing chemoprevention trials testing novel agents in this population.

Recent findings: Four recent chemoprevention trials in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) were identified and reviewed. In the FAPEST trial, the combination of erlotinib+sulindac (compared to placebo) met its primary outcome of decreased duodenal polyp burden. A secondary analysis of lower gastrointestinal tract outcomes also demonstrated significant benefits. Two randomized trials in FAP patients examining combination regimens (celecoxib+DFMO and sulindac+DFMO) failed to meet their primary endpoints. Benefits of further research into these combinations was suggested by efficacy signals seen in secondary and post-hoc analyses. Finally, a randomized trial found curcumin (vs placebo) to have no benefit in reducing colorectal polyp count or size in patients with FAP.

Summary: Progress in developing new and more effective preventive options for patients with hereditary gastrointestinal syndromes continues to be made through the efforts of investigators conducting chemoprevention research.

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