NSAID, Statin Use Cuts Cancer Risk in Barrett's Esophagus

NSAIDs, statins each reduce neoplastic progression risk; additive benefit with combined use

TUESDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Barrett's esophagus, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and statins reduces the risk of neoplastic progression, with combined use giving additional protection, according to a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

Florine Kastelein, M.D., from Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues investigated whether NSAID or statin use affects the risk of neoplastic progression in 570 patients with Barrett's esophagus, from three academic and 12 regional Dutch hospitals. Data on medication use were collected by interviews at each surveillance visit, and were cross-checked with pharmacy records. Over-the-counter medication use was assessed through questionnaires completed by patients.

The investigators identified 38 patients with high-grade dysplasia or adenocarcinoma during a median follow-up of 4.5 years. Following diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus, NSAIDs were used for a median duration of two months by 318 (56 percent) patients; and aspirin, NSAIDs, and NSAIDs plus statins were used for a median duration of five years by 161 (28 percent), 209 (37 percent), and 107 (19 percent) patients, respectively. Use of both NSAIDs and statins correlated with decreased risk of neoplastic progression (hazard ratio [HR], 0.47 [P = 0.03] and 0.46 [P = 0.048], respectively). This protective effect was increased by combined use of NSAIDs and statins (HR, 0.22).

"Use of NSAIDs and statins is associated with a significantly reduced risk of neoplastic progression in patients with Barrett's esophagus. Use of both NSAIDs and statins appears to have an additive protective effect," the authors write.

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