Two U.S. studies say Pfizer's painkiller Celebrex can slow the recurrence of polyps in the colon for those at a higher risk of developing colon cancer.
But they also caution about an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes from the medicine, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The findings of the studies are published in this week's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. Celebrex is commonly taken to relieve arthritis pain.
An editorial in the medical journal said because of the cardiovascular risk, Celebrex, or its generic version, has "no role" in preventing cancer in those who don't face high risk of colon cancer, the report said. Early testing is recommended for discovering polyps so they can be removed.
A Pfizer expert was quoted as saying the cancer results are encouraging but added, "We do not recommend Celebrex in treating and preventing cancer." He said the medicine, however, remains an important treatment option for arthritis sufferers.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: World Health Organization policy improves use of medicines