In long-term survivors of colorectal cancer, regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after diagnosis of colorectal cancer correlated with improved survival in survivors with KRAS wild-type tumors, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Regular use of aspirin is correlated with improved survival in patients with colorectal cancer. This study examined the timing of the use of aspirin and other NSAIDs and the subtypes of colorectal cancer that might experience a survival benefit.

Researchers examined data from 2419 patients aged 18 to 74 years with invasive colorectal cancer diagnosed between 1997 and 2008. This study used data from population-based cancer registries in the United States, Australia, and Canada.

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Patients completed detailed epidemiologic questionnaires at study enrollment and at 5-year follow-up. After a median of 10.8 years of follow-up, 100 deaths due to colorectal cancer (381 total deaths) occurred.

Patients who used aspirin after diagnosis of colorectal cancer experienced improved overall survival (OS) (hazard ratio [HR], 0.75; 95% CI, 0.59-0.95) and colorectal cancer-specific survival (HR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.25-0.71), particularly in patients who initiated use of aspirin after diagnosis (OS: HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.47-0.86; colorectal cancer-specific survival: HR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.20-0.80).

The correlation between the use of any NSAID after diagnosis and OS varied significantly based on KRAS-mutation status. In patients with KRAS wild-type tumors, use of NSAIDs correlated with improved OS (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.46-0.80).


1. Hua X, Phipps AI, Burnett-Hartman AN, et al. Timing of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use among patients with colorectal cancer in relation to tumor markers and survival [published online June 15, 2017]. J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2017.72.3569