A trial of a drug for heart disease, nicknamed CANTOS for Canakinumab Anti-inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study, also examined the effects of this anti-inflammatory drug on the risk of developing cancer.
How Did the Anti-Inflammatory Drug Affect the Risk of Lung Cancer?
Study subjects taking the higher doses of canakinumab were significantly less likely to come down with lung cancer during the trial period. Those on the highest dose (300 mg) were 50 percent less likely to die from lung cancer than those on placebo. None of the patients had cancer of any sort other than skin cancer before the trial began.
More Fatal Infections:
Because people taking canakinumab had more fatal infections, the number of deaths was not significantly different among the various groups in the study. This research was published in The Lancet to coincide with the presentation of the data at the European Society of Cardiology meetings in Barcelona. The investigators admit that this is hardly the final word on whether this anti-inflammatory drug could be helpful in preventing cancer, however.