Can Use of Analgesics Improve Survival in Women With Ovarian Cancer?
Posted: Monday, August 27, 2018
According to a retrospective study published in The Lancet Oncology, recent use of aspirin or non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer seems to improve patient survival. “If these results are confirmed in further studies,” concluded Melissa A. Merritt, PhD, of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, and colleagues, “further research should explore potential synergistic effects of anti-inflammatory medications used in combination with standard ovarian cancer therapies to improve the prognosis for patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer.”
The researchers analyzed self-reported analgesic use of 1,143 patients with invasive stages I to III epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosed between June 1976 and May 2013. Of them, 1,031 were included in the prediagnosis exposure analysis and 964 were included in the postdiagnosis exposure analysis. These patients were from U.S. Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and NHS II cohorts.
Patients who reported postdiagnosis aspirin use that was recent or current within the past 2 years had improved survival over those who had never used this analgesic, with a hazard ratio of 0.68. Similarly, patients reporting recent postdiagnosis non-aspirin NSAIDs use also had improved outcomes versus never-users, with a hazard ratio of 0.67.
Patients who changed from never-users to recent users of either aspirin or NSAIDs after diagnosis also experienced improved survival outcomes, with a hazard ratio of 0.44 for new aspirin users and 0.46 for new NSAID users. There were no reported associations between prediagnosis analgesic use of any type or postdiagnosis paracetamol use and survival outcome.