Long-term aspirin-use may reduce the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, though this benefit may not extend to non-GI malignancies such as breast or kidney cancers, according to a presentation at the 2017 United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week.1
GI cancers account for nearly 25% of cancers and approximately 30% of cancer-related mortalities in Europe. Previous studies demonstrate that aspirin may act as a chemopreventive agent for colorectal and other cancers.
For this matched-cohort study, researchers analyzed the outcomes of 618,884 patients from a database of all public hospitals in Hong Kong. Eligible patients were prescribed aspirin long term (longer than 6 months, average duration of use: 7.7 years), and were matched with non-users in 1:2 ratios. The investigators evaluated the incidence of GI cancers compared with non-GI cancers.
After following 14-year patient outcomes, the researchers found that 15.9% (98,533) of patients developed cancer.
Compared with non-users, aspirin-users had a reduced risk of major GI tract cancers of 24% to 47%, including colorectal (24%; odds ratio [OR], 0.76; 95% CI, 0.73-0.78), liver (47%; OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.51-0.56), esophageal (47%; OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.49-0.59), pancreatic (34%; OR; 0.66; 95% CI, 0.60-0.71), and stomach (38%; OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.58-0.65) cancers.
Regarding non-GI cancers, long-term aspirin-use significantly reduced the risk of leukemia, lung, and prostate cancers, but this benefit was not seen for multiple myeloma, bladder, kidney, and breast cancers.
- Tsoi KK, Chan FC, Hirai HW, Sung JJ. Long-term use of aspirin is more effective to reduce the incidences of gastrointestinal cancers than non-gastrointestinal cancers: a 10-year population based study in Hong Kong. Presented at: 2017 United European Gastroenterology Week; October 28-November 1, 2017; Barcelona, Spain; abstract 109.