Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Long-term aspirin use reduces risk for colorectal cancer

24.08.2005


Higher doses needed to produce effect, more research needed to clarify risks



A new report from the Nurse’s Health Study finds that regular, long-term aspirin use can significantly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, as suggested by several earlier studies. However, the benefit appears to require more than a decade and is strongest at dose levels associated with a greater risk of side effects such as bleeding. Similar results were found for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen and naproxen. The report – from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – appears in the August 24 Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Several earlier studies have found that, among patients with a history of colon polyps or cancer, regular aspirin treatment prevents the recurrence of precancerous polyps. However, the ability of aspirin to reduce the long-term incidence of invasive cancer has not been well-demonstrated," says Andrew Chan, MD, MPH, of the MGH Gastrointestinal Unit, the paper’s lead author. "Our study did find a protective effect of long-term aspirin use on risk of invasive colorectal cancer, but only at dosage levels considerably higher than those used to prevent cardiovascular disease."


The Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) has followed more than 120,000 female registered nurses since the mid-1970s, asking them to complete a questionnaire on risk factors for and incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease every two years. In 1980, assessments of diet and the use of aspirin and NSAIDS were added. The current report analyzes information from almost 83,000 NHS participants, among which 962 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed during the 20-year study period.

While the incidence of colorectal cancer was lower in the women who took aspirin regularly, the risk reduction was significant only for those taking aspirin 10 years or longer. The benefit increased as dosage levels rose, with the greatest risk reduction seen in those taking more than 14 standard tablets per week. A similar risk reduction was seen with the intake of NSAIDS, with greater benefit also associated with higher dosage; but an analysis of acetaminophen, which is believed to act through different mechanisms, found no association of that medication with colorectal cancer. It is believed that the ability of aspirin and NSAIDS to reduce cancer risk may, at least in part, relate to their shared ability to inactivate the COX-2 enzyme, which could stimulate tumor development.

The risk of serious gastrointestinal bleeding, a known side effect of both aspirin and NSAIDS, also rose as dosage levels increased, with bleeding occurring nearly twice as often in those taking the highest doses. The researchers estimate that a high-dose aspirin regimen that prevented one or two cases of colorectal cancer in a population might also contribute to eight additional cases of serious gastrointestinal bleeding.

"Before we can make any recommendations about whether patients should take these medications to reduce their cancer risk, we’re going to need additional studies that clarify the risks and benefits of such an approach, particularly compared to other prevention strategies. For now, individuals need to discuss the options with their physicians" says Chan, who is an instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Chan and his colleagues have already initiated studies aimed to further clarify the impact of long-term use of aspirin and NSAID drugs, particularly in those at high risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.

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

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Turning entanglement upside down

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>