Aspirin reduces risk of colorectal cancer
As he demonstrated the first randomized controlled trial (RCT for short) conducted to evaluate the effects of the drug in cancer prevention, led by Professor Sir John Burn, Newcastle University (UK) and published in editing 'on line' of 'The Lancet'.
Several earlier studies had suggested that 'Aspirin' could cut the risk of developing cancer, but this new work is the first RCT that has focused on the incidence of cancer as their main objective.
The project involved 43 centers in 16 countries that followed nearly 1,000 patients, in some cases for over ten years. They all had Lynch syndrome, a genetic abnormality that predisposes a person to develop colorectal cancer or other solid cancers. At least one in 1,000 people are carriers of this anomaly which explains approximately one in 30 cases of intestinal cancer.
In fact, patients with Lynch syndrome are 10 times more likely than the rest of the population of intestinal cancer or uterine cancer at an early age.
Between 1999 and 2005, 434 patients started taking two 'Aspirin' (600 milligrams) every day for at least two years, and 427 took placebo. The first data yielded the analysis of this trial in 2007 showed no difference in the incidence of colorectal cancer among those who had taken the drug and those not.
However, in 2010 there were 19 new cases of colorectal cancer among those who received 'Aspirin' and 34 among patients who received placebo, which meant that in the first group the incidence of colorectal cancer was reduced by 44 percent.
More comprehensive analysis focusing on patients who had been treated with 'Aspirin' for at least two years (60 percent of the total) revealed that the drug's effects were more evident, since the incidence of colorectal cancer was reduced by 63 percent. Specifically, there were 23 cases bowel cancer in the placebo group but only 10 in the 'Aspirin'. Therefore, the effects began to be visible five years after starting treatment.
Regarding other cancers associated with Lynch sídrome, nearly 30 percent of patients taking placebo developed endometrial cancer or uterine cancer, while in the group taking 'Aspirin' was only seen by 10 percent.
No data on adverse events after completion of the study, but during the investigation, there were no differences between the drug and placebo.
"Taking 600 milligrams of 'Aspirin a day for 25 months have substantially reduced the incidence of cancer after 55 months herditario. However, more studies must be performed to establish the optimal dose and duration of treatment, "he told the authors of the study.