Aspirin use is again tied to lower risk for GI cancers

  • Bosetti C & al.
  • Ann Oncol
  • 1 Apr 2020

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Aspirin use is associated with a lower risk of developing several cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including potentially fatal diseases such as pancreatic and liver cancers.

Why this matters

  • Aspirin has been previously linked to a reduced risk for bowel cancer, and smaller analyses have found associations with esophageal and stomach cancers. 

Study design

  • A meta-analysis of 113 observational studies investigating cancers in the general population.
  • Funding: Bayer AG.

Key results

  • Regular use of aspirin was associated with lower relative risks (RRs; 95% CIs) for:
    • Colorectal cancer: 0.73 (0.69-0.78); 
    • Squamous-cell esophageal cancer: 0.67 (0.57-0.79);
    • Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastric cardia: 0.61 (0.49-0.77); 
    • Stomach cancer: 0.64 (0.51-0.82); 
    • Hepatobiliary cancer: 0.62 (0.44-0.86); and
    • Pancreatic cancer: 0.78 (0.68-0.89).
  • Aspirin use was not associated with a lower RR for:
    • Head and neck cancer: 0.94 (95% CI, 0.76-1.16).
  • Dose-related risk reduction for colorectal cancer:
    • 75-100 mg daily: 10% reduction;
    • 325 mg daily: 35% reduction; and
    • 500 mg daily: 50% reduction.

Limitations

  • Inherent biases of observational studies.
  • No data on other cardiovascular prevention drugs, which could confound the associations.