Aspirin, ibuprofen, and reduced risk of advanced colorectal adenoma incidence and recurrence and colorectal cancer in the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial

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BACKGROUND: Studying the differential impact of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs across the stages of colorectal neoplasia from early adenoma to cancer is critical for understanding the benefits of these widely used drugs.

METHODS: With 13 years of follow-up, the authors prospectively evaluated the association between aspirin and ibuprofen use and incident distal adenoma (1221 cases), recurrent adenoma (862 cases), and incident colorectal cancer (CRC; 2826 cases) among men and women in the population-based Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. With multivariable-adjusted models, odds ratio (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for adenoma incidence and recurrence and hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for incident CRC were determined.

RESULTS: The authors observed a significantly reduced risk of incident adenoma with ibuprofen use (≥30 vs <4 pills per month: OR, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.60-0.95]; P(trend) = .04), particularly advanced adenoma (OR, 0.48 [95% CI, 0.28-0.83]; P(trend) = .005). Among those with a previous adenoma detected through screening, aspirin use was associated with a decreased risk of advanced recurrent adenoma (≥30 vs <4 pills per month: OR, 0.56 [95% CI, 0.36-0.87]; P(trend) = 0.006). Both aspirin (HR, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.81-0.96]; P(trend) <.0001) and ibuprofen use (HR, 0.81 [95% CI, 0.70-0.93); P(trend) = 0.003) ≥30 versus <4 pills per month were significantly associated with reduced CRC risk.

CONCLUSIONS: In this large prospective study with long-term follow-up, a beneficial role for not only aspirin, but also ibuprofen, in preventing advanced adenoma and curbing progression to recurrence and cancer among older adults was observed.

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ePub ahead of print