Aspirin use associated with lower risk of prostate Ca death

November 4, 2010

Men with prostate cancer who take anticoagulants like aspirin, in addition to undergoing radiation therapy or surgery, may be able to cut their risk of dying of the disease by more than half, recent research indicates.

Men with prostate cancer who take anticoagulants like aspirin, in addition to undergoing radiation therapy or surgery, may be able to cut their risk of dying of the disease by more than half, recent research indicates.

The study, which involved more than 5,000 men with localized prostate cancer, was presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology annual meeting in San Diego.Researchers evaluated data from the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urological Research Endeavor (CaPSURE) database to investigate the effect of anticoagulation medications on the risk of dying from prostate cancer among men whose cancer has not metastasized. The study involved 5,275 men who were treated with surgery or radiation. Of these patients, 1,982 were taking anticoagulants.

Results showed that the use of anticoagulants among prostate cancer patients treated with either surgery or radiation reduced the risk of dying from the disease from 10% to 4% at 10 years. The risk of developing bone metastasis was also reduced.

"Evidence has shown that anticoagulants may interfere with cancer growth and spread," said lead author Kevin Choe, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas. "If the major effect of anticoagulants is preventing metastasis, this may be why previous clinical trials with anticoagulation medications produced mixed results, since most patients in these trials already had metastasis. If the cancer has already metastasized, then anticoagulants may not be as beneficial."

In addition, findings reveal that the benefit appeared even greater among patients diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer. The study also found that the benefit was most prominent with aspirin, compared with other anticoagulants.