(HealthDay News) — Among patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), regular use of aspirin after diagnosis is associated with longer survival for those with the mutated phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphonate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit alpha polypeptide gene (PIK3CA), according to a study published in the Oct. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Xiaoyun Liao, M.D., Ph.D., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data for 964 patients with rectal or colon cancer participating in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, including data on aspirin use after diagnosis and PIK3CA mutation status.

Among patients with mutated-PIK3CA CRCs, the researchers found that regular use of aspirin after diagnosis correlated with significantly improved CRC-specific survival (multivariate hazard ratio [HR] for cancer-related death, 0.18) and overall survival (multivariate HR for death from any cause, 0.54). Among patients with wild-type PIK3CA cancers, there was no correlation for regular use of aspirin after diagnosis with CRC-specific survival (multivariate HR, 0.96; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.69 to 1.32) or overall survival (multivariate HR, 0.94; 95 percent CI, 0.75 to 1.17).

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“Regular use of aspirin after diagnosis was associated with longer survival among patients with mutated-PIK3CA CRC, but not among patients with wild-type PIK3CA cancer,” the authors write. “The findings from this molecular pathological epidemiology study suggest that the PIK3CA mutation in CRC may serve as a predictive molecular biomarker for adjuvant aspirin therapy.”

One author disclosed financial ties to several pharmaceutical companies.

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