The CHAMP-study: the CHemopreventive effect of lithium in familial AdenoMatous Polyposis; study protocol of a phase II trial

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Background: Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a rare autosomal dominant disease characterized by germline mutations in the Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) gene, resulting in the development of numerous colorectal adenomas. As these patients have a high risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), guidelines suggest prophylactic colectomy during early adulthood, however, adenoma development is still observed in the remaining intestinal tract. Therefore, FAP patients would benefit from chemoprevention strategies reducing the development of adenomas. Recent work in mice reveals a chemopreventive effect of lithium on the development of adenomas by inhibiting the expansion of Apc mutated intestinal stem cells (ISCs) within the crypts of normal intestinal mucosa. Here, we aim to investigate the effect of lithium on the spread of APC mutant cells within the human intestinal epithelium. Methods: This prospective phase II single arm trial has a duration of 18 months. FAP patients (18–35 years) with a genetically confirmed APC mutation who did not undergo colectomy will be treated with lithium carbonate orally achieving a serum level of 0.2–0.4 mmol/l between month 6 and 12. Colonoscopy with biopsies of normal intestinal mucosa will be performed at baseline and every six months. The primary endpoint is the effect of lithium on the spread of APC mutant cells within intestinal crypts over time by using APC specific marker NOTUM in situ hybridization. Secondary endpoints include change in adenoma burden, patient reported side effects and safety-outcomes. Total sample size is 12 patients and recruitment will take place in the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC in the Netherlands. Discussion: The outcome of this study will function as a proof-of-concept for the development of novel chemoprevention approaches that interfere with the competition between normal and mutant ISCs. Trial registration: ( NCT05402891 (June 1, 2022) and the EU Clinical Trials Register: EuraCT 2022-000240-30 (January 1, 2022).
Original languageEnglish
Article number383
JournalBMC Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Chemoprevention
  • Colorectal adenomas
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis
  • Lithium carbonate

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