Aspirin in colorectal cancer

The timeline of Acetylsalicylic Acid

Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid), who started its life as an ordinary headache tablet turned out to be an effective blood thinner and established itself on the cardiology shelves of our pharmacies. If the outcome of recent studies is to be confirmed, Acetylsalicylic Acid will soon be prescribed by oncologists.

Encouraging outcomes

Evidence is accumulating that Aspirin has a beneficial effect in the prevention of colorectal cancer. Some hypothesis suggests that Aspirin might play a role in the T cell-mediated anti-tumour activity.

While some public health organisations have started to give out recommendations to use this drug as preventative measures, there is still no consensus on how to involve this drug in a context with colorectal cancer.

Questions that need to be addressed:

  • Should it be used as a primary or secondary prevention?
  • Which age group should be targeted?
  • Which risk group will benefit the most?

About 5% of patients with colorectal cancer have a rare genotype that does not respond to Acetylsalicylic Acid, in fact, these patients have an increased risk of developing CRC when using Aspirin. Should each patient be checked for this rare genotype before a recommendation can be made?

What will the future bring?

I believe that the near future and further studies will provide some answers soon. In the meantime, I remain in awe of that little headache pill and how new benefits of Aspirin are still being discovered today. The notion of Aspirin as a wonder drug is becoming more than an advertising slogan.

Published by oliver

When it comes to medical content, Oliver writes with an in-depth understanding of physiological, pathological and pharmacological concepts. He knows how clinical reasoning is applied and is experienced in accentuating his articles towards the reader.

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