Over 600,000 people worldwide die of colorectal cancer (CRC) annually, highlighting the importance of developing effective prevention strategies. Among proposed chemopreventive interventions, aspirin is perhaps the agent with the strongest body of evidence that supports wider spread use to significantly reduce the population burden of CRC. Several epidemiological studies, four randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of colorectal polyp recurrence, and RCTs in patients with hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes, have shown that aspirin reduces incidence of colorectal neoplasia. Recently, in a pooled analysis of five cardiovascular-prevention RCTs linked to cancer outcomes, daily aspirin use at any dose reduced the risk of CRC by 24% and of CRC-associated mortality by 35% after a delay of 8-10 years. In an expanded meta-analysis of 8 cardiovascular-prevention RCTs, daily aspirin use at any dose was associated with a 21% lower risk of all cancer death, including CRC, with benefit only apparent after 5 years. In this review, we will summarize human studies of aspirin in CRC prevention as well as discuss the safety profile and mechanism of aspirin in CRC prevention. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Aspirin for the prevention of colorectal cancer