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From the Spring 2017 Quest

Anew analysis found that patients who took aspirin regularly had a lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.

Researchers defined regular aspirin usage as more than 3 tablets per week for at least 1 year, and lethal prostate cancer was defined as cancer that metastasized or was the cause of a patient’s death. The study used data on 22,071 men.

The study authors said their findings are consistent with a “potential inhibitory effect of aspirin on prostate cancer progression.” When compared to men who never took aspirin, men who took aspirin regularly in the past had a 46% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer. Men who took aspirin after being diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer had a 32% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer and a 28% lower risk of overall mortality, when compared to men who never took aspirin.

The analysis used data from the Physicians’ Health Study, in which healthy men were randomized to take aspirin, β-carotene, both, or placebo in 1981/82. The trial ended in 1998, after which the study participants submitted annual questionnaires on aspirin use, cancer diagnoses and outcomes through 2009, or 2015 for men who developed prostate cancer.

A randomized trial is needed to confirm or refute these findings.

Eur Urol. 2017 Feb 8. pii: S0302-2838(17)30069-6. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2017.01.044. [Epub ahead of print]

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