Taking aspirin could increase cancer survival by 20 percent

Study prompts call for more research into aspirin as an additional cancer treatment – ScienceDaily, 20 April 2016

Patients receiving cancer treatment could increase their chance of survival by up to 20% and help stop their cancer from spreading by taking a low-dose of aspirin, new research suggests.

In a systematic review of the available scientific literature a team from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine found a significant reduction in mortality and cancer spread by patients who took a low-level dose of aspirin in addition to their cancer treatment (average study follow-up length over 5 years).

The review looked at all of the available data including five randomised trials and forty two observational studies of colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.

As a result of the review, the team say their study highlights the need for randomised trials to establish the evidence needed to support low-dose aspirin as an effective additional treatment of cancer.

B0006253 Aspirin crystals

Image of aspirin crystals. Source: Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images.//CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Professor Elwood added: “While there is a desperate need for more detailed research to verify our review and to obtain evidence on less common cancers, we’d urge patients diagnosed with cancer to speak to their doctor about our findings so they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they should take a low-dose aspirin as part of their cancer treatment.”

Full reference: Elwood, P. 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 (4):

 

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