Certain antidepressants may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to a study published in the British medical journal The Lancet Oncology. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), notes Jean-Paul Collet, the study's lead investigator and a professor at Montreal's Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital, "might inhibit the growth of colorectal tumors."
In the study, researchers selected 3,67 colorectal cancer patients and matched them for age, sex, and calendar time with non-diseased control subjects. After adjusting for non-steroidal antiflammatory use during the same period and SSRI use six to 10 years pre diagnosis, researchers observed a decreased risk of cancer for those taking a high dose of SSRIs for up to five years before diagnosis.
While the initial results of the study seem promising, said Collett, "further investigation is needed, with more complete assessment of confounders such as lifestyle factors, use of drugs, and comorbidity that might affect the occurence of colorectal cancer."