02:09pm Sunday 24 September 2017

Daily aspirin and cancer

Professor Tom Meade, Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, is one of the authors of two publications in The Lancet about a low daily dose of aspirin in the reduction of mortality from several cancers, and also about its effect in reducing the spread (metastasis) of cancer. He was the chief investigator of the Thrombosis Prevention Trial which made an important contribution to the papers.

In the first paper, the authors studied data from 51 trials originally set up to test daily aspirin’s effect on preventing vascular events such as heart attacks, involving tens of thousands of participants.

They found that aspirin reduced the risk of cancer death by 15%. This improved to a 37% after five years follow-up.

The second paper reports the effect of aspirin on cancer metastasis. The authors found that daily aspirin reduced risk of cancer with distant metastasis by 36%, and by 46% for a groups of cancers known as adenocarcinomas, including those of the colon and lung among others.  

Tom Meade said: “Reduction by aspirin of the long-term risk of cancer death has been previously reported, but these findings now add to the evidence. The short-term reductions in cancer incidence and mortality and the decrease in risk of major bleeds with extended use add to the case for daily aspirin in the prevention in cancer.”

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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