TWILIGHT trial: Brilinta reduces bleeding compared to dual therapy in high-risk coronary patients
Dr. Bosetti said: "We found that the risk of cancer was reduced with increased dose; an aspirin dose between 75 and 100mg a day was associated with a 10% reduction in a person's risk of developing cancer compared to people not taking aspirin; a dose of 325mg a day was associated with a 35% reduction, and a dose of 500mg a day was associated with a 50% reduction in risk. However, the estimate for high dose aspirin was based on just a few studies and should be interpreted cautiously.
"Our findings on bowel cancer support the concept that higher aspirin doses are associated with a larger reduction in risk of the disease. However, the choice of dose should also take into consideration the potential risk of stomach bleeds, which increases with higher aspirin doses.
"Compared to people who did not take aspirin regularly, the risk of bowel cancer declined in regular aspirin users up to ten years. The risk was reduced by 4% after one year, 11% after three years, 19% after five years and 29% after ten years."
Prof Carlo La Vecchia said: "These findings suggest there's a beneficial effect of aspirin in the prevention of bowel and other cancers of the digestive tract. The results for bowel, oesophageal and pancreatic cancers are consistent with evidence from clinical trials on aspirin in the prevention of heart and blood vessel diseases.
"The findings for pancreatic and other digestive tract cancers may have implications for the prevention of these highly lethal diseases. For pancreatic cancer, we found that risk of the disease declined by 25% after five years among people who took aspirin regularly compared to those who did not.
"Taking aspirin for the prevention of bowel cancer, or any other cancers, should only be done in consultation with a doctor, who can take account of the person's individual risk. This includes factors such as sex, age, a family history of a first-degree relative with the disease, and other risk factors. People who are at high risk of the disease are most likely to gain the greatest benefits from aspirin."
In addition to stomach bleeds, the side effects of aspirin include bleeding in other parts of the body and, occasionally, hemorrhages.
As the study is based on observational studies, it can only show that aspirin is associated with a reduced risk, and biases or confounding factors may partly explain its results. Other limitations include the fact that in some studies information may not reflect changes in aspirin use over time; the people in the studies might not remember or report their aspirin use accurately; and most studies did not have data on other medications that might affect the association between aspirin and the risk of cancer. Source:
European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Journal reference:
Bosetti, C., et al. (2020) Aspirin and the risk of colorectal and other digestive tract cancers: an updated meta-analysis up to 2019. Annals of Oncology . doi.org/10.1016/j.annonc.2020.02.012 .
Also in Industry News
How to decide whether or not to start treatment for prostate cancer?
Analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 proteome via visual tools
$65m investment increases British Patient Capital’s exposure to life sciences and health technology