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Aspirin and Cancer Treatment

Posted 9/23/2015

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  This is a good week for Bayer and for aspirin in general. Brigham and Women’s and Dana-Farber received $10 million for the first-ever randomized trial focused on aspirin and breast cancer. This is a quote from Wendy Chen, MD from DFCI:  Although chemo- and hormonal therapies have helped women with breast cancer live longer, they are expensive and have many side effects. Women whose tumors are not sensitive to hormones have limited treatment options. The results of this trial, if positive, could have a huge impact on the disease, as we have estimated that that aspirin may save 10,000 lives a year in the U.S. and 75,000 lives in low-income countries.”

  I have written before about the possible value of aspirin in reducing cancer risk and maybe reducing cancer recurrence. These comments must always be balanced with the "Talk to your doctor first" reminder as there are some people who would be ill served by taking daily aspirin. Medical conditions such as easy bleeding or a history or ulcers might make aspirin a bad bet.

  For the rest of us, however, this is hopeful. From The New York Time

A Cancer Treatment in Your Medicine Cabinet?

WE believe that it might be possible to treat breast cancer — the leading cause of female cancer death — with a drug that can already be found in nearly every medicine cabinet in the world: Aspirin.

In 2010, we published an observational study in The Journal of Clinical Oncology showing that women with breast cancer who took aspirin at least once a week for various reasons were 50 percent less likely to die of breast cancer. In 2012, British researchers, by combining results from clinical trials that looked at using aspirin to prevent heart disease, found that aspirin was also associated with a significantly lower risk of breast cancer death.

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