Friday, August 15, 2014

Overweight breast cancer patients may benefit from aspirin, ibuprofen

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 15, 2014 – Post menopausal women with breast cancer who are overweight or obese and taking tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors were less likely to have their cancer recur if they took aspirin or ibuprofen, a new analysis shows.

The researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, and the START Center for Cancer Care in San Antonio, examined the records of 440 breast cancer patients comparing the prognoses (projected outcomes) of those who took anti-inflammatory drugs and those who did not, in addition to tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors. 

In addition, the researchers then did a laboratory study of ER positive breast cancer cells bathed in blood serum from obese women, in an effort to mimic the environment that spurs tumor growth. The report was published in the Aug. 14 journal Cancer Research. 

They found that anti-inflammatory use reduces the recurrence rate of estrogen-driven breast cancer by 50 percent and extends patients' disease-free period by more than two years. Such ER positive breast cancers, as they are called, account for about 75 percent of diagnoses.

The investigators caution that these results are preliminary, and the team is planning a larger prospective study that will follow patients over time, to identify disease biomarkers and monitor patient response to the addition of anti-inflammatory drugs to breast cancer treatment.

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