Taking acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) after diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) may improve CRC-related survival, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1
In this registry-based study, researchers enrolled 23,162 Norwegian patients diagnosed with CRC between 2004 and 2011, of which 6102 (26.3%) took aspirin post-diagnosis. “Exposure to aspirin” was defined as receipt of aspirin prescriptions for more than 6 months post-diagnosis.
After a median of 3 years, researchers found that there were only 1158 (19%) CRC-specific deaths in the aspirin-taking cohort. Of the 17,060 patients not exposed to aspirin, there were 5375 (31.5%) CRC-specific deaths. Multivariable Cox-proportional hazard analyses led the researchers to conclude that aspirin exposure is associated with improved CRC-specific survival (hazard ratio 0.85, 95% CI, 0.79-0.92), and with overall survival (hazard ratio 0.95, 95% CI, 0.90-1.01).
Despite the small sample size of patients exposed to aspirin, in contrast to those not exposed, it was concluded that aspirin exposure is associated with improved CRC-specific survival, as well as with overall survival.
- Bains SJ, Mahic M, Myklebust TA, Småstuen MC, Yaqub S, Dørum LM, et al. Aspirin as secondary prevention in patients with colorectal cancer: an unselected population-based study [published online ahead of print May 31, 2016]. J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.65.3519.