Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Should aspirin be used to help prevent cancer?

Date:
October 1, 2012
Source:
European Society for Medical Oncology
Summary:
Aspirin, the everyday drug taken by countless people around the world to ward off pain and reduce their risk of developing heart disease, may have a new trick up its sleeve –- preventing cancer.

Aspirin, the everyday drug taken by countless people around the world to ward off pain and reduce their risk of developing heart disease, may have a new trick up its sleeve --preventing cancer.

A growing body of evidence suggests that taking aspirin may reduce an individual's chances of developing colorectal cancer and perhaps other malignancies, but whether that evidence is strong enough to outweigh the risks of prescribing it to millions of healthy people is the subject of debate.

At the ESMO 2012 Congress in Vienna, both sides of that debate are being aired in front of an audience of experts in one of the meeting's popular Controversy sessions.

Arguing in favor of the question -- "Is aspirin (NSAID) ready for chemoprevention of colorectal adenoma/cancer?" -- is Prof Robert Benamouzig from the Department of Gastroenterology, Avicenne Hospital, Bobigny, France.

"The efficacy of aspirin in preventing colorectal cancer has been made obvious by more than twenty years of research," said Prof Benamouzig.

"In 2010, researchers published the 20-year follow-up of five pooled randomized trials that assessed the effect of aspirin on colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. The study of more than 14,000 patients found that daily aspirin at any dose reduced risk of colorectal cancer by 24% and associated deaths by 35% after a delay of about 8 to 10 years."

"In these trials, the reduction of colorectal cancer rates was in essence a side-effect of treatment. None of them had such a reduction as their primary outcome. Nevertheless, the evidence that aspirin is effective for preventing these colorectal cancers is very strong," Prof Benamouzig said.

Arguing that the answer to the question should be "No" is Prof Nadir Arber, Director of the Integrated Cancer Prevention at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel.

"NSAIDs and in particular aspirin are very promising in secondary prevention of colorectal neoplasia, however their role in primary prevention is still not proven," Prof Arber said. "This means that the majority of the population does not need, and is not going to benefit from aspirin use. Having said that, specific high-risk populations definitely can benefit from aspirin intake, including people with hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis, existing colorectal cancer or adenoma. In the future based on genomic profile, we would be able to identify people who are at high risk of developing colorectal cancers and who might benefit from aspirin therapy."

During the discussion, Prof Arber will present preliminary data showing how the efficacy and toxicity of aspirin in preventing cancer can be predicted based on some single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Before aspirin can be used for preventing these cancers, we need to develop means of identifying people who are going to benefit from the drug without developing side-effects, Prof Arber said. Risks of taking aspirin include gastrointestinal bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage. "We need a study that will measure overall morbidity and mortality and not efficacy and toxicity in a single organ or disease such as cardio-vascular disease," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society for Medical Oncology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society for Medical Oncology. "Should aspirin be used to help prevent cancer?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001084348.htm>.
European Society for Medical Oncology. (2012, October 1). Should aspirin be used to help prevent cancer?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001084348.htm
European Society for Medical Oncology. "Should aspirin be used to help prevent cancer?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001084348.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins