DFMO: Targeted risk reduction therapy for colorectal neoplasia

Christina M. Laukaitis, Eugene W. Gerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Strategies to decrease intracellular polyamine levels have been studied for their efficacy in reducing colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. A successful strategy combined agents that decreased polyamine synthesis by inhibiting ornithine decarboxylase with difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), and increased cellular export of polyamines by activating the spermidine/spermine acetyl transferase with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A Phase III trial treating resected adenoma patients with DFMO plus sulindac demonstrated marked reduction of metachronous adenomas, advanced adenomas and multiple adenomas compared to placebo. This combination regimen was well-tolerated, however there was a non-significant excess of cardiovascular events in the treatment arm compared to placebo as well as modest ototoxicity. Targeting this therapy to people at elevated risk of CRC, and employing clinical and genetic predictors, should improve patient benefit and reduce the risk of side effects to improve the acceptability of this strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-506
Number of pages12
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Chemoprevention
  • Colorectal cancer
  • DFMO
  • Polyamines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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