Aspirin may benefit prostate cancer patients

September 14, 2012
Formulary staff
Formulary staff

Anticoagulant therapy, particularly the use of aspirin, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality in men treated with radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy for prostate cancer, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Anticoagulant (AC) therapy, particularly the use of aspirin, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) in men treated with radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiotherapy (RT) for prostate cancer, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Kevin S. Choe, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, and colleagues, explored the association between ACs and cancer outcome in nearly 6,000 men in the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor database who had been treated for prostate cancer with either RT or RP.

A little more than 2,000 (37%) were receiving ACs (warfarin, clopidogrel, enoxaparin, and/or aspirin). The risk of prostate cancer was compared between those taking ACs and those who were not.

When the investigators compared PCSM in the group taking ACs and those who were not, they found that 10-year mortality from prostate cancer was significantly lower (3% vs 8%) for those taking ACs compared with those who were not.

The difference was particularly prominent in those with high-risk disease (10-year PCSM of 4% vs 19%; P< .01). When they analyzed different types of ACs, they noted that the reduction in PCSM was primarily associated with the use of aspirin.

“Our findings corroborate and strengthen the hypothesis that aspirin may have chemopreventive and antineoplastic effects,” the authors wrote. However, they added, "the optimal usage of aspirin, as well as the potential toxicity, should be addressed in a prospective study."