Post-diagnostic prescriptions for low-dose aspirin and breast cancer-specific survival: A nested case-control study in a breast cancer cohort from the UK Clinical Practice

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Abstract

Introduction: Recent observational studies indicate that post-diagnostic use of aspirin in breast cancer patients may protect against cancer progression perhaps by inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2 dependent mechanisms. Evidence also supports a crucial role for interactions between tumour cells and circulating platelets in cancer growth and dissemination, therefore, use of low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of death from cancer in breast cancer patients.Methods: A cohort of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients (1998 to 2006) were identified in the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (and confirmed by cancer registry linkage). Cancer-specific deaths were identified up to 2011 from Office for National Statistics mortality data. A nested case-control analysis was conducted using conditional logistic regression to compare post-diagnostic aspirin exposure using General Practice prescription data in 1,435 cases (breast cancer deaths) with 5,697 controls (matched by age and year of diagnosis).Results: After breast cancer diagnosis, 18.3% of cancer-specific deaths and 18.5% of matched controls received at least one prescription for low-dose aspirin, corresponding to an odds ratio (OR) of 0.98 (95% CI 0.83, 1.15). Adjustment for potential confounders (including stage and grade) had little impact on this estimate. No dose response relationship was observed when the number of tablets was investigated and no associations were seen when analyses were stratified by receipt of prescriptions for aspirin in the pre-diagnostic period, by stage at diagnosis or by receipt of prescriptions for hormone therapy.Conclusions: Overall, in this large population-based cohort of breast cancer patients, there was little evidence of an association between receipt of post-diagnostic prescriptions for low-dose aspirin and breast cancer-specific death. However, information was not available on medication compliance or over-the-counter use of aspirin, which may have contributed to the null findings. © 2014 Murray et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Murray, L. J., Cooper, J. A., Hughes, C. M., Powe, D. G., & Cardwell, C. R. (2014). Post-diagnostic prescriptions for low-dose aspirin and breast cancer-specific survival: A nested case-control study in a breast cancer cohort from the UK Clinical Practice. Breast Cancer Research, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.1186/bcr3638

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