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Research shows how aspirin may act on blood platelets to improve survival in colon cancer patients
Date:9/30/2013

or mutations in the PIK3CA gene. Both COX-2 expression and PIK3CA mutations are known to be involved in the onset of cancer.

They found that low dose (80mg a day) aspirin use after diagnosis improved survival only in patients with tumours expressing HLA class I; if these patients used aspirin they were half as likely to die during the average four years of follow-up as patients with tumours expressing HLA class I that did not use aspirin. This effect of aspirin was not seen in patients without HLA class I expression. "Therefore, HLA class I might serve as a predictive biomarker to help identify patients who would benefit from aspirin therapy after diagnosis," said Dr Reimers.

"Our results showed that there was no difference in the effect of aspirin in relation to COX-2 expression and PIK3CA mutation."

Until now it was assumed that COX-2 expression or PIK3CA gene mutation played a role in the effectiveness of aspirin use. Dr Reimers explained: "When we stratified our analyses for COX-2 expression and PIK3CA mutation status, we did not see differences in survival benefit. For example, patients with aspirin use after diagnosis with strong COX-2 expressing tumours had the same survival benefit as tumours with weak COX-2 expression."

Dr Reimers and her colleagues believe their results suggest that aspirin may be acting on two different pathways in colon cancer: one in the preventive setting and the other through the control of metastasis the spread of cancer to other parts of the body from its primary site.

She said: "The first pathway is through PIK3CA mutations and COX-2 expression in the tumours, which seem to show more effect in the preventive setting. Studies of hereditary colorectal cancers have shown that aspirin can help to prevent the onset of cancer by limiting the formation of polyps in the bowel, which are often the forerunners of cancer, and that this is linked to PIK3CA mutations and COX-2 expression.


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Contact: José Abad
ecco2013press@gmail.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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