The following article features coverage from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

The use of low-dose aspirin may significantly reduce the risk of gastric and esophageal cancer. In a presentation at ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, researchers reported that low-dose aspirin has been previously shown to be associated with a 30% to 40% protective effect against colorectal cancer (CRC), and now appears to also help combat gastric and esophageal cancers.

The researchers used a population-based primary care database in the United Kingdom (The Health Improvement Network) to follow patients aged 40 to 89 years from 2005 to 2015. For the study, approximately 200,000 new users of low-dose aspirin (75-300 mg/day) were matched by age, sex, time since study entry, and number of primary care visits in the previous year to nonusers.

All the patients were followed for a maximum of 18 years; incident cases of gastric and esophageal cancers were identified. The researchers also conducted a nested case-control analysis, using 5000 controls for both sets of cancer cases and frequency. Each was matched by age, sex, and calendar year.

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They identified 727 incident cases of gastric cancer and 1394 incident cases of esophageal cancer. When the researchers compared non-users with current users of low-dose aspirin, they found aspirin use was associated with a 54% reduced risk of gastric cancer and a 41% reduced risk of esophageal cancer.

“Protective effects were seen for both cancers irrespective of total previous duration of low-dose aspirin use,” the researchers reported. “Our results indicate that use of low-dose aspirin is associated with a significantly reduced risk of gastric and esophageal cancer as supported by mechanistic data.”


Garcia Rodriguez L, Vora P, Soriano-Gabarró, Cea Soriano L. Low-dose aspirin and risk of gastric and oesophageal cancer: A population-based study. Presented at: ESMO Congress 2019; September 27-October 1, 2019; Barcelona, Spain. Abstract 681PD.