Raleigh drug manufacturer Salix Pharmaceuticals announces positive results of a double-blind study that showed that its lead drug, Colazal, reduced inflammation in patients receiving radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

Published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology-Biology-Physics, the findings showed that patients taking three, 750-milligram Colazal tables before radiation treatments each day suffered from less inflammation and fewer ulcers than those taking placebo.

Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. develops and markets prescription pharmaceutical products for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, including Colazal.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 500,000 cases of all types of pelvic cancer were diagnosed in the United States during 2004. Pelvic cancers represent more than 35% of all new diagnoses of cancer in the United States currently, and include sites that have historically been difficult to treat with curative intent. Approximately 230,000 new cases, or 33% of all new cancer diagnoses, in American men in 2004 were for prostate cancer.