In men with prostate cancer, regular aspirin use is associated with a slower rate of disease progression and a reduced risk of dying from the disease, according to a new study.
The findings come from an analysis of data from the large prospective Physicians' Health Study, in which 3193 men developed prostate cancer over a 27-year period. Of these cancers, 403 were lethal, defined as metastatic disease or death from prostate cancer.
But the risk developing lethal prostate cancer was 24% lower in men who took aspirin on a regular basis, explained lead investigator Christopher Brian Allard, MD, a urologic oncology fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Dr Allard was speaking at a press briefing held in advance of the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium 2016 in San Francisco.
"Men with prostate cancer who took aspirin regularly had a 39% lower risk of dying from prostate cancer," said Dr Allard.
However, aspirin use did not measurably reduce the overall incidence of prostate cancer. It also did not prevent high-grade cancers or locally advanced prostate cancers, Dr Allard noted.
"We found that aspirin intake before prostate cancer diagnosis was not beneficial," he reported.
Several observational studies that have looked at the association between aspirin use and prostate cancer outcomes have produced mixed results. For example, a large population-based study conducted last year in the United Kingdom showed that aspirin use after newly diagnosed nonmetastatic prostate cancer does not lower disease-specific or overall mortality.
However, an earlier study showed that anticoagulants reduced the risk of dying from the disease from 10% to 4% at 10 years, and that the benefit was greatest with aspirin use