Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and there are many more. But you already know that. What you may not know is that the NSAIDs can improve the survival rate of colorectal cancer survivors, but this is for the long-term survivors.

Aspirin is more beneficial than other NSAIDs

NSAID users were seen to have a reduction in survival hazard. However, in the analysis using types of NSAID it was found that only aspirin had this benefit. This study was carried out by Polly Newcomb and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. It showed that the NSAID benefit was mostly for patients with KRAS wild-type tumors.

Patients who started to use aspirin after being diagnosed had improved their overall survival rate and continued to give a more favorable cause-specific survival. Despite being proven that aspirin is chemo preventive for colon cancer, it is not recommended for primary prevention for people with the risk of developing any cardiovascular disease.

Researchers said that they supported aspirin use for secondary prevention, especially for subgroups like those with KRAS wild-type tumors. They also recommended that more research is done to identify the correct time, dose and duration of aspirin intake.

Many studies showed the link between long-term use of NSAIDs and reduction of colorectal cancer. There is little information about the benefits of taking NSAIDs before or after diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Other studies got inconsistent data on the effect of using NSAID on colon cancer.

Results from 2000 patients

The team analyzed data from the Colon Cancer Family Registry. The analysis focused on more than two thousand patients who got diagnoses then followed up for the next years. The investigators did a series of tumor marker tests to evaluate the specimen from the patients.

The researchers found out the date that one began to take the drugs, the type of NSAID consumed and the time one had taken it. Then they interviewed the patients and followed up on the for years to get information

The information showed that there is a link between NSAID use after diagnosis and overall survival. The link was the same for all type of NSAIDs users. However, for cause-specific survival, the link is only found in those who use aspirin regularly.

The team discovered that NSAID use post-diagnostics had survival benefit on those with the wild type while those with mutant tumors also partially benefited.

The association between NSAID use and KRAs did get to cause specific survival but it had a positive effect.

Longer use of any NSAID and only aspirin had positive effect on both overall and cause-specific survival. An investigative analysis showed that the link between the time of NSAID use and overall survival remained only helpful to those with KRAS wild-type tumors. The team finally discovered that those who started NSAID use after diagnosis had better overall survival but those who have used NSAID pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis or had stopped NSAID use.