Aspirin Use Prior to Breast Cancer Diagnosis Improves Survival in Certain Women

Women who take aspirin prior to a breast cancer diagnosis who have long interspersed elements‐1 (LINE‐1) global methylation and promoter methylation of BRCA1 and PR in their tumor have a reduced risk of death, according to a study published in Cancer.

Researchers assessed pre-diagnosis aspirin use in a population‐based cohort of 1,508 women diagnosed with first primary breast cancer in 1996 and 1997. Global methylation in peripheral blood was assessed by LINE-1 and the luminometric methylation assay. Promoter methylation of 13 breast cancer‐related genes was measured in tumor by methylation‐specific polymerase chain reaction and the MethyLight assay.

A total of 476 women died from any cause and 202 died from breast cancer by the end of 2014.

Aspirin use improves survival

All‐cause mortality was higher among aspirin users who had methylated promotor of BRCA1 (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.67; 95% CI, 1.26‐2.22), but not among those with unmethylated promoter of BRCA1 (HR=0.99; 95% CI, 0.67‐1.45; P≤0.05).

Researchers observed decreased breast cancer‐specific mortality among aspirin users who had unmethylated promotor of BRCA1 (HR=0.60) and PR (HR=0.78) and global hypermethylation of LINE‐1 (HR=0.63; P≤0.05).

The researchers said that these findings could help identify individuals who may benefit from aspirin after a breast cancer diagnosis based on their cells’ DNA methylation profile.