Updated on 27 June 2013
Good news for cancer patients - Aspirin use reduces the risk of BRAF-wild-type colorectal cancer
Singapore: Recent studies by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, US, have found that aspirin use reduces the risk of BRAF-wild-type colorectal cancer. However, the studies highlighted that BRAF-mutant colon tumor cells may be less sensitive to the effect of aspirin. The study has been published in the journal JAMA.
Dr Reiko Nishihara, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, US, and colleagues collected biennial questionnaire data on aspirin use. They then followed up participants in the Nurses' Health Study (from 1980) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (from 1986) until July 2006 for cancer incidence and until January 2012 for cancer mortality.
Among 127,865 individuals, 1,226 incident rectal and colon cancers were identified with available molecular data. The researchers found that regular aspirin use was associated with a significantly lower risk (27 percent) of BRAF-wild-type cancer. Regular aspirin use was not associated with a lower risk of BRAF-mutated cancer.
The authors of the research, said that, "The association of aspirin use with colorectal cancer risk differed significantly according to BRAF mutation status. The association of aspirin tablets per week with cancer risk differed significantly by BRAF mutation status. Compared with individuals who reported no aspirin use, a significantly lower risk of BRAF-wild-type cancer was observed among individuals who used 6 to 14 tablets of aspirin per week and among those who used more than 14 tablets of aspirin per week."
"There was no statistically significant interaction between post-diagnosis aspirin use and BRAF mutation status in colorectal cancer-specific or overall survival analysis. This suggests that the potential protective effect of aspirin may differ by BRAF status in the early phase of tumor evolution before clinical detection but not during later phases of tumor progression," the authors added.