Aspirin May Boost Survival Rates in GI Cancer Patients
Aspirin may improve survival rates for patients with cancer tumors in their gastrointestinal (GI) tract,
That's the conclusion of a study at the Leiden University Medical Centre in The Netherlands. While other research has found that aspirin can help patients with colorectal cancer, this is the first to suggest that it can also benefit patients with tumors in different locations in their GI tract.
The research team analyzed data from 13,715 patients who had been diagnosed with a GI cancer between 1998 and 2011. In order to show an association between aspirin use after a cancer diagnosis and overall survival, the team linked the patient data to drug dispensing information from PHARMO, the Institute for Drug Outcomes Research based in Utrecht.
The results showed that patients using aspirin after their diagnosis had a chance of survival twice as high than that of those who did not use it in the same circumstances. The beneficial effect of aspirin was seen in patients with GI tumors after adjusting for other factors, such as sex, age, stage of cancer, surgery, etc.
The scientists believe the beneficial effect of aspirin in cancer is due to its antiplatelet effect. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are thought to hide themselves from the immune system with the help of the platelets that surround them.Aspirin inhibits platelet function and therefore allows the immune system to recognize the CTCs and eliminate them.