There was no evidence that aspirin use beginning at the onset of chemotherapy affected the risk of recurrence among patients with stage II or III colorectal cancer treated with adjuvant chemotherapy, according to a study being presented at the 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.1

Despite previous reports purportedly showing that aspirin use lowers the incidence of colorectal adenomas, there are limited data on the impact of aspirin in the secondary prevention of colorectal cancer.

To evaluate whether aspirin reduces disease recurrence in patients diagnosed with early colorectal cancer, investigators analyzed retrospective data from 231 patients treated with at least 1 cycle of adjuvant chemotherapy for stage II or III disease between 2009 and 2013 at Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital in Australia.

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Of those, 50% had colon cancer and 50% had rectal cancer, with 19% and 81% having stage II and III disease, respectively. About one-third of patients received oxaliplatin.

Results showed that 13% of patients were using aspirin; 26% developed cancer recurrence during a median follow-up of 2.9 years. Investigators found no significant difference in relapse-free survival between patients taking aspirin and those not taking aspirin (hazard ratio, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.62-2.29).

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Although this retrospective study suggests no benefit from aspirin on relapse-free survival in this population of patients with stage II and III colorectal cancer, further research is needed to determine whether aspirin has an effect in select subgroups.


  1. Kumari N, Mandaliya HA, Evans T, et al. Aspirin in the prevention of colorectal cancer recurrence. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35(suppl):4S. Abstract 578.