Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study supports role of aspirin in reducing risk of colorectal cancer

03.02.2004


More research needed to identify those for whom benefit could outweigh risk of side effects



A new study has found that regular intake of aspirin does appear to be associated with a reduced risk of the type of colon polyps that can develop into cancer. However, since risk reduction was strongest with aspirin doses higher than those used to prevent cardiovascular disease, the researchers say further study is needed to determine for whom the benefits of such treatment would outweigh any potential risks. The report – from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital and affiliated institutions – appears in the February issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

"We would love to have a simple, daily tablet that could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer for everyone, but right now we don’t have that," says Andrew Chan, MD, of the MGH Gastrointestinal Unit, the paper’s lead author. "However, confirming that aspirin, especially at higher doses, may reduce cancer risk is very exciting and opens many avenues of research for better understanding the mechanism of this disease."


Earlier studies at a number of centers suggested that aspirin could reduce the risk of colorectal polyps but had not established the most effective dose. The current investigation is part of the Nurses Health Study, which has followed more than 120,000 female registered nurses since the mid-1970s, asking them to complete a questionnaire on risk factors for cancer and cardiovascular disease every two years. In 1980, assessments of diet, aspirin use, and colon examination were added to the NHS questionnaire.

The report in Annals examines data from about 27,000 Nurses Health Study participants, ages 34 to 77 with no history of cancer, who reported having endoscopic colon examinations between 1980 and 1998. Among that study group, almost 1,400 participants were diagnosed with adenoma – a type of colorectal polyp that may develop into cancer – during the 18-year period.

Participants who reported taking aspirin regularly had a 25 percent lower risk of adenoma than did women who took no aspirin, with the lowest risk seen among those who took more than two standard aspirin tablets per day. Current guidelines for heart disease prevention suggest that low doses – one baby aspirin tablet per day – are as effective as higher doses. The authors caution that high doses of aspirin have been shown to pose a greater risk of side effects such as bleeding.

"Before these findings can be translated into clinical recommendation, we need better ways of identifying exactly who should take aspirin to reduce colorectal cancer risk," says Chan, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School. "Other potential risk factors or genetic markers could be associated with levels of benefit that might outweigh the risks posed by higher doses of aspirin. Until those questions are answered, people should follow current screening recommendations, which are proven to save lives."

Additional authors of the study are Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, senior author, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH); Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, Eva Schernhammer, MD, DrPH, Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, and David Hunter, MD, ScD, all of BWH and the Channing Laboratory at Harvard Medical School; and Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, of BWH and Harvard School of Public Health. The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

The Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) was initiated in 1976 at BWH. The NHS is the longest-running, major women’s health study ever undertaken and has resulted in hundreds of journal articles, many containing groundbreaking findings on how to prevent some of the major causes of disease and death in women.


Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $350 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, cutaneous biology, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, transplantation biology and photomedicine. In 1994, MGH and BWH joined to form Partners HealthCare System, an integrated health care delivery system comprising the two academic medical centers, specialty and community hospitals, a network of physician groups, and nonacute and home health services.

Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>