Oncology Central

Breast cancer recurrence rate may be reduced in obese women who take NSAIDs

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A recently published study from researchers at the University of Texas (TX, USA) suggests that overweight women who regularly use aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have a reduced recurrence rate of hormone-related breast cancer.

Linda deGraffenried, corresponding author for the study, explained: “Our studies suggest that limiting inflammatory signaling may be an effective, less toxic approach to altering the cancer-promoting effects of obesity and improving patient response to hormone therapy.”

Obesity is linked with worse breast cancer prognosis and lower rates of overall survival. Therefore, this retrospective study aimed to examine the link between NSAID use and breast cancer recurrence rate. Overall, data from 440 women with invasive ERα-positive breast cancer were included in the analysis and it was observed that women with an average BMI of >30 had a 52% lower recurrence rate if they were taking aspirin or other NSAIDs, as well as a 28-month delay in time to recurrence.

Discussing the results, deGraffenried added: “These results suggest that NSAIDs may improve response to hormone therapy, thereby allowing more women to remain on hormone therapy rather than needing to change to chemotherapy and deal with the associated side effects and complications. However, these results are preliminary and patients should never undertake any treatment without consulting with their physician.”

Sources: Bowers LW, Maximo IX, Brenner AJ et al. NSAID use reduces breast cancer recurrence in overweight and obese women: role of prostaglandin-aromatase interactions. Cancer Res. 74(16), 4446-4457 (2014); American Association for Cancer Research press release

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