Taking low-dose aspirin during cancer treatment cuts deaths

Researchers say low-dose aspirin has a beneficial role as add-on to cancer treatment.

Micrograph of breast cancer cells

Long-term use of low-dose aspirin reduces the risk of cancer, but little is known about its effect during cancer treatment. 

Researchers from Cardiff University performed a literature review including 5 randomised trials and 42 observational studies in colorectal, breast and prostate cancer. 

The team found that taking low-dose aspirin reduced the risk of mortality by 24% in colon cancer, primarily among patients with mutations in the PIK3CA gene. In breast and prostate cancer, aspirin was associated with a 13% and 11% reduced risk of mortality, respectively. 

Reporting in PLoS One (online, 20 April 2016)[1]
, the researchers say the results suggest that low-dose aspirin has a beneficial role as an add-on to cancer treatment. However, more randomised trials into the drug’s effects on cancer survival and the relationship with biomarkers are needed.


[1] Elwood PC, Morgan G, Pickering JE et al. Aspirin in the treatment of cancer: reductions in metastatic spread and in mortality: a systematic review and meta-analyses of published studies. PLoS One 2016;11:e0152402. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152402

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, June 2016, Vol 8, No 6;8(6):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201122

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