Non-Steroidal Drugs Don't Protect Against Melanoma

Researchers find no connection between variety of NSAID exposures and lower risk of melanoma

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) doesn't appear to be associated with a lower risk of melanoma, contrary to data supporting their chemopreventive effects for other site-specific cancers, according to research published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Maryam M. Asgari, M.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, Calif., and colleagues analyzed data from 63,809 subjects in the Vitamins and Lifestyle cohort study, all white, who were free of melanoma at baseline. Participants reported their NSAID use during the previous 10 years. Over an average follow-up of five years, 349 were identified with incident melanoma.

The investigators found no reduction in risk associated with four NSAID exposures: use at least four days a week compared to non-use for any dose; any NSAID besides low-dose aspirin; regular or extra-strength aspirin; or non-aspirin NSAIDs. The researchers conclude that these drugs don't appear to be good candidates for the chemoprevention of melanoma.

"Our findings are consistent with a recently published large prospective study that also found no association between duration of daily regular-strength aspirin use and the risk of incident melanoma," the authors write. "Given the potential side effects of NSAIDs, including gastric ulcers, the search must continue for a good chemopreventive agent for melanoma."

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