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Aspirin and cancer: biological mechanisms and clinical outcomes

Elwood, Peter, Protty, Majd, Morgan, Gareth, Pickering, Janet, Delon, Christine and Watkins, John 2022. Aspirin and cancer: biological mechanisms and clinical outcomes. Open Biology 12 (9) , 220124. 10.1098/rsob.220124

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Evidence on aspirin and cancer comes from two main sources: (1) the effect of aspirin upon biological mechanisms in cancer, and (2) clinical studies of patients with cancer, some of whom take aspirin. A series of systematic literature searches identified published reports relevant to these two sources. The effects of aspirin upon biological mechanisms involved in cancer initiation and growth appear to generate reasonable expectations of effects upon the progress and mortality of cancer. Clinical evidence on aspirin appears overall to be favourable to the use of aspirin, but evidence from randomized trials is limited, and inconsistent. The main body of evidence comes from meta-analyses of observational studies of patients with a wide range of cancers, about 25% of whom were taking aspirin. Heterogeneity is large but, overall, aspirin is associated with increases in survival and reductions in metastatic spread and vascular complications of different cancers. It is important that evaluations of aspirin used as an adjunct cancer treatment are based upon all the available relevant evidence, and there appears to be a marked harmony between the effects of aspirin upon biological mechanisms and upon the clinical progress of cancer.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: The Royal Society
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 16 August 2022
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 18:26

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