More Evidence Daily Aspirin May Protect Against GI Cancer

Four-year study found survival doubled for GI cancer patients who took low-dose pill each day

TUESDAY, Sept. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Daily aspirin might extend survival for patients with cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, including tumors of the colon and esophagus, according to a study presented at the 2015 European Cancer Congress, held from Sept. 25 to 29 in Vienna.

Martine Frouws, M.D., of the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues looked at outcomes for 13,715 patients diagnosed with a gastrointestinal cancer between 1998 and 2011. Patients were tracked for an average of four years. The most common types of cancers seen were colon, rectal, and esophageal, and about 28 percent of the patients survived for at least five years.

According to the researchers, patients who took daily low-dose aspirin after their diagnosis were twice as likely to survive as those who did not. This benefit of taking aspirin was seen after the researchers adjusted for other factors such as sex, age, cancer state, type of treatment, and other health conditions.

"Medical research is focusing more and more on personalized medicine, but many personalized treatments are expensive and only useful in small populations," Frouws said in a news release from the European Cancer Congress. "We believe that our research shows quite the opposite -- it demonstrates the considerable benefit of a cheap, well-established and easily obtainable drug in a larger group of patients, while still targeting the treatment to a specific individual."

Press Release
More Information

Physician's Briefing