Aspirin Doesn't Help Breast Cancer Outcomes, May Aid Detection

“Researchers found no link between taking aspirin and improved breast cancer outcomes, however the drug’s effect on breast density may help with earlier diagnosis, according to two new studies presented at a conference on breast cancer.

“Several studies have shown aspirin to cut the risk of colorectalbreast and other cancers.

“Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania presented the new studies at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

” ‘Past studies have found that aspirin may hold anti-cancer benefits. However, many of them were preliminary, preclinical, and didn’t support a clear mortality benefit. They also didn’t look at prior use of aspirin,’ said Dr. Julia Tchou, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, in a press release. ‘Our data did not support the notion that this century-old pill has protective qualities and down-the-road benefits for breast cancer patients. However, larger patient cohort studies are needed to confirm our results.’ “


Scientists Turn to Aspirin to Turbo-Charge Cancer Immunotherapy

Editor’s note: This story describes a study performed in mice. More research is needed to determine whether the results also apply to humans.

“Giving cheap aspirin to cancer patients may turbo-charge the effectiveness of expensive new medicines that help their immune systems fight tumors, experiments on mice suggest.

“Immunotherapy promises to revolutionize cancer care by offering a better, longer-lasting response with fewer adverse side effects than conventional treatment, but the new drugs do not work well in all cases.

“One reason is that cancer cells often produce large amounts of the molecule prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which turns down the immune system’s normal attack response to tumor cells, according to scientists at London’s new Francis Crick Institute.”


Aspirin Does Not Help to Stave off Death from Prostate Cancer

“Aspirin use does not appear to reduce the risk of mortality associated with prostate cancer, according to research published in the April issue of The Journal of Urology.

“Jonathan Assayag, M.D., of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, and colleagues followed a cohort of 11,779 men, diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer between 1998 and 2009, until 2012. The associations of aspirin use with prostate cancer mortality and all-cause mortality were assessed.

“The researchers found that, at a mean follow-up of 5.4 years, post-diagnostic use of aspirin was associated with increased risks of prostate cancer mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 1.46; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.29 to 1.65) and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.37; 95 percent CI, 1.26 to 1.50). Further analysis showed that the risk of prostate cancer mortality was increased in patients initiating aspirin use after the diagnosis of prostate cancer (HR, 1.84; 95 percent CI, 1.59 to 2.12), but not in those who already were using aspirin before the diagnosis (HR, 0.97; 95 percent CI, 0.81 to 1.16). A similar pattern was observed for increased risk of all-cause mortality associated with post-diagnostic aspirin use (HR, 1.70; 95 percent CI, 1.53 to 1.88), but not pre-diagnostic aspirin use (HR, 0.98; 95 percent CI, 0.87 to 1.18).”


Postdiagnosis Aspirin Use Associated With Reduced Disease-Specific Mortality Only in High-Risk Subgroup of Men With Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer

The gist: A new study says that men with high-risk nonmetastatic prostate cancer might lower their risk of death by prostate cancer if they take aspirin after being diagnosed. A high dose of aspirin appears to be no better than a low dose.

“A recent analysis of a large clinical database indicated that postdiagnosis aspirin use was associated with a 57% reduction in prostate cancer–specific mortality among men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer. In a study in a prospective cohort reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jacobs et al found that postdiagnosis aspirin use was associated with reduced disease-specific mortality only among men with high-risk cancers, with no obvious difference in outcome according to aspirin dose being detected in this subgroup…

“The study included men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer in the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort between enrollment in 1992 or 1993 and June 2009. Aspirin use was recorded at enrollment, in 1997, and every 2 years thereafter. Through 2010, there were 441 prostate cancer deaths among 8,427 prostate cancer cases with information on prediagnosis aspirin use and 301 deaths among 7,118 cases with information on postdiagnosis aspirin use.

“Multivariate analyses of prostate cancer-specific mortality included adjustment for age at diagnosis, race, year of diagnosis, tumor extent (T1–T2 or T3–T4), nodal involvement, Gleason  score (2–6, 7, ≥8, unknown), initial treatment type, use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, cardiovascular disease, and prediagnosis prostate-specific antigen testing not leading to a prostate cancer diagnosis.”


Aspirin May Cut Mortality in Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer

“Daily aspirin use, even at low doses, may reduce mortality among men with high-risk nonmetastatic prostate cancer, according to research published online Oct. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“Eric J. Jacobs, Ph.D., of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data for men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer to assess the association between daily aspirin use and prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM). The men were enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort between 1992 or 1993 and June 2009, and followed up through 2010.

“The researchers found that, after multivariable adjustment, neither prediagnosis (hazard ratio [HR], 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 1.17) nor postdiagnosis (HR, 0.98; 95 percent CI, 0.74 to 1.29) daily use of aspirin showed a statistically significant association with PCSM compared with no aspirin use. Among men diagnosed with high-risk cancers (≥T3 and/or Gleason score ≥8), postdiagnosis daily aspirin use was associated with lower PCSM (HR, 0.60; 95 percent CI, 0.37 to 0.97). In this subgroup, no difference in mortality risk was observed according to aspirin dose, such as the typical low dose of 81 mg per day (HR, 0.50; 95 percent CI, 0.27 to 0.92) or higher doses (HR, 0.73; 95 percent CI, 0.40 to 1.34).

” ‘A randomized trial of aspirin among men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer was recently funded,” the authors write. “Our results suggest any additional randomized trials addressing this question should prioritize enrolling men with high-risk cancers and need not use high doses.’ “


Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever May Slow Recurrence in Breast Cancer Patients

With promising new information on the risks of obesity and the benefits of anti-inflammatories, researchers at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center have launched a new study on aspirin and fish oil open to postmenopausal women who are cancer-free.

“It’s based on their own findings published today in the journal Cancer Research, which reveal that some postmenopausal overweight breast cancer patients who use common anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen have significantly lower breast cancer recurrence rates.

“Researchers from the CTRC at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and The University of Texas at Austin began that study by examining blood serum from CTRC breast cancer patients, said CTRC oncologist Andrew Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.”


Daily Aspirin Linked to Smaller Tumors in Lung and Colon Cancer

A retrospective analysis of data from thousands of cancer patients showed that lung and colon cancer patients who had been taking daily low-dose aspirin before diagnosis had smaller tumors. Their cancer was also 20% to 40% less likely to have spread to other parts of the body. It is still unclear whether aspirin indeed caused the less severe diagnoses or whether separate, independent factors make people both more likely to take daily aspirin and to have less advanced lung or colon cancers. Future studies may address this question. No association between daily aspirin and cancer severity was found in prostate or breast cancer.


Aspirin May Fight Cancer by Slowing DNA Damage

“Aspirin is known to lower risk for some cancers, and a new study led by a UC San Francisco scientist points to a possible explanation, with the discovery that aspirin slows the accumulation of DNA mutations in abnormal cells in at least one pre-cancerous condition.”


Aspirin May Fight Cancer by Slowing DNA Damage

“Aspirin is known to lower risk for some cancers, and a new study led by a UC San Francisco scientist points to a possible explanation, with the discovery that aspirin slows the accumulation of DNA mutations in abnormal cells in at least one pre-cancerous condition.”