An aspirin a day lowers risk of death in men with prostate cancer, suggests study.
Preclinical studies have shown that aspirin and other anticoagulation medications may inhibit cancer growth and metastasis, but clinical data have been limited previously.
Dr. Kevin Choe, assistant professor of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern, and colleagues looked at almost 6,000 men in the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE) database who had prostate cancer treated with surgery or radiotherapy.
About 2,200 of the men involved - 37 percent - were receiving anticoagulants (warfarin, clopidogrel, enoxaparin, and/or aspirin). The risk of death from prostate cancer was compared between those taking anticoagulants and those who were not.
The findings demonstrated that 10-year mortality from prostate cancer was significantly lower in the group taking anticoagulants, compared to the non-anticoagulant group - 3 percent versus 8 percent, respectively.
The risks of cancer recurrence and bone metastasis also were significantly lower. Further analysis suggested that this benefit was primarily derived from taking aspirin, as opposed to other types of anticoagulants.
"The results from this study suggest that aspirin prevents the growth of tumor cells in prostate cancer, especially in high-risk prostate cancer, for which we do not have a very good treatment currently," Dr. Choe said.
"But we need to better understand the optimal use of aspirin before routinely recommending it to all prostate cancer patients," he added.
The study was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.