Taking an aspirin a day is already a well-known regimen for the prevention of heart disease. Aspirin is an anticoagulant, which basically means that it inhibits clot forming in the blood stream. This is particularly useful for people at high risk for stroke. A recent study however, shows that aspirin use in men with prostate cancer is associated with a lower risk of death. This is especially true for men with high-risk cancer.
The study was comprised of 5,955 men in the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor database. 37% of the men in the database were using some type of anticoagulant. This group was called the AC group. The anticoagulants used in the AC group consisted of warfarin, clopidogrel, enoxaparin, and/or aspirin. The AC group was compared to a non-ac group which consisted of men who weren’t taking anticoagulants.
The results were pretty impressive. The prostate cancer–specific mortality (PCSM) rate in the men were compared. At the 10 year mark, the men who were taking anticoagulants had a 3% mortality rate. The men in the non-ac group had an 8% mortality rate. In a subgroup of men considered high-risk, the mortality rate was 4% in the AC group compared to 19% in the non-ac group. That is a pretty significant difference. The findings were consistent among men who had prostatectomy and radiotherapy. The study also showed that aspirin was particularly effective in reducing PCSM.
“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, assistant professor of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study said. “But we need to better understand the optimal use of aspirin before routinely recommending it to all prostate cancer patients.”
This study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.