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Protocol for MInimizing the Risk of Metachronous Adenomas of the CoLorectum with Green Tea Extract (MIRACLE): a randomised controlled trial of green tea extract versus placebo for nutriprevention of metachronous colon adenomas in the elderly population

Julia C Stingl1*, Thomas Ettrich2, Rainer Muche3, Martina Wiedom3, Jürgen Brockmöller4, Angela Seeringer1 and Thomas Seufferlein2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Pharmacology of Natural Products and Clinical Pharmacology, University Ulm, Germany

2 Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

3 Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, University Ulm, Germany

4 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University Göttingen, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:360  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-360

Published: 18 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Prevention of colorectal cancer is a major health care issue. People who have undergone colonoscopy screening and had colorectal polyps removed have a higher risk of being diagnosed with polyps again compared to the normal population. Therefore, it would be ideal to find appropriate means that effectively help to prevent the reoccurrence of polyps after polypectomy. So far, pharmaceutical chemoprevention with NSAIDs including aspirin has been shown to be effective but not gained general acceptance due to side effects. Nutraceuticals such as polyphenols from tea plants have demonstrated remarkable therapeutic and preventive effects in molecular, epidemiological and clinical trials. However, placebo-controlled trials demonstrating the efficacy of nutraceuticals for the (secondary) prevention of colorectal polyps as precursors for colorectal cancer are missing.

Methods/Design

We present the design of a randomized, placebo controlled, multicentre trial to investigate the effect of diet supplementation with green tea extract containing 300 mg epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenol in green tea, on the recurrence of colon adenomas. Patients who have undergone polypectomy for colonic polyps will be randomized to receive either green tea extract containing 150 mg EGCG two times daily or a placebo over the course of three years. After a one month run-in period in which all patients will receive the active intervention, 2534 patients will be randomized, and 2028 patients are expected to complete the whole study course. Incidence, number and histology of adenoma at endpoint colonoscopy at three years will be compared in both groups.

Discussion

The beneficial safety profile of decaffeinated green tea extract, the quantifiable and known active content EGCG, and the accumulating evidence of its cancer preventive potential require, in our view, a validation of this compound for the nutriprevention of colorectal adenoma. Good accessibility and low costs might render this neutraceutical a top candidate for wider use as food supplement in colon cancer prevention.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01360320