Adding Aspirin to Preoperative CRT May Be Beneficial for Rectal Cancer

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Aspirin might have anticancer activity against rectal cancer during preoperative chemoradiation.
Aspirin might have anticancer activity against rectal cancer during preoperative chemoradiation.

Aspirin might have anticancer activity against rectal cancer during preoperative chemoradiation, a new study published online ahead of print in the British Journal of Cancer has shown.1

Because various studies have suggested a possible adjuvant role of aspirin in colorectal cancer, researchers sought to evaluate the anticancer effect of aspirin use during preoperative chemoradiation for rectal cancer.

Researchers enrolled 241 patients with stage 2-3 rectal cancer who were candidates for chemoradiation. Patients were assigned to 2 groups: patients taking aspirin at the time of diagnosis (group 1) and all others (group 2).

Results showed that aspirin use was associated with a higher rate of tumor downstaging (P=0.01), good pathological response (P<0.001), and a slightly, non-significant, higher rate of complete pathological response (P=0.196).

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Researchers found that aspirin use was also associated with an improved 5-year progression-free survival (HR = 0.20; 95% CI: 0.07-0.60) and overall survival (HR = 0.21; 95% CI: 0.05,-0.89). Aspirin use was also associated with reduced risk of developing metastasis (HR = 0.30; 95% CI: 0.10-0.86).

“This finding could be clinically relevant and should be further investigated with randomized trials,” the authors concluded.

Reference

  1. Restivo A, Cocco IMF, Casula G, et al. Aspirin as a neoadjuvant agent during preoperative chemoradiation for rectal cancer [published online ahead of print September 15, 2015]. B J Cancer. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.336.

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