Genetic variation impacts aspirin's effectiveness in preventing colon cancer

October 24, 2006

Dartmouth researchers are among a team of doctors that have learned more about how people may or may not benefit from taking aspirin in the effort to curb colon cancer. Their study, which appears in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, finds that the beneficial effect of aspirin may be limited to individuals who have a specific genetic variation in their ODC gene.

"There is evidence that aspirin and related anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the risk of colorectal adenomas [polyps] and cancer," says Elizabeth Barry, a research assistant professor of community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, and one the authors of the study. "And with this study, we looked closer at the impact of aspirin in people who have a higher risk of developing colorectal adenomas, which lead to cancer, by examining their ODC genotype. So now we know that aspirin appears to work better in people who have this slight genetic variation, and this finding could potentially be clinically useful in the future by allowing physicians to predict which individuals are likely to benefit from aspirin use for colorectal cancer chemoprevention."

The researchers studied 973 subjects over three years as part of the Aspirin/Folate Polyp Prevention Study. In a randomized manner, some were given aspirin and some were given placebos. Almost half of the participants carried one or two copies of the ODC genetic variation. The study found that there was no association between carrying the genetic variation and the occurrence or new adenomas, but the genotype did influence the effect of aspirin on adenoma development. Those with the ODC genetic variation were 23 percent less likely to develop new adenomas and 49 percent less likely to develop more advanced lesions, which also lead to cancer.

Other authors on the paper include John A. Baron and Maria V. Grau, with Dartmouth Medical School; Shubha Bhat and Thomas G. O'Brien, with the Institute for Medical Research in Wynnewood, Penn.; Carol A. Burke, with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Robert S. Sandler, with the University of North Carolina; Dennis J. Ahnen, with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver; and Robert W. Haile, with the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Source: Dartmouth College

Explore further: Effect of aspirin, NSAIDs on colorectal cancer risk may differ from genetic variations

Related Stories

Effect of aspirin, NSAIDs on colorectal cancer risk may differ from genetic variations

March 17, 2015
Among approximately 19,000 individuals, the use of aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with an overall lower risk of colorectal cancer, although this association differed according to ...

How our DNA may prevent bowel cancer

March 20, 2015
A new study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests the link between aspirin and colon cancer prevention may depend on a person's individual genetics.

Study shows how different people respond to aspirin—an important cardioprotective drug

May 2, 2016
Researchers have learned new information about how different people respond to aspirin, a globally prescribed drug in cardioprotection. The research team, led by scientists at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom and ...

Stroke prevention - the simple truth

July 26, 2012
From tracing missing patients to raiding dusty basements, Peter Rothwell has been finding new approaches to preventing stroke and cancer in some surprising places. He tells Lydia Harriss how the search for answers doesn’t ...

Breakthrough in brain tumour research

June 28, 2016
A potentially ground-breaking scientific breakthrough with far-reaching consequences for future treatments of brain tumours is to be revealed at an international research meeting in Poland today.

Assessing the biosimilarity of protein drugs: New study shows method's precision

February 5, 2016
A first-ever interlaboratory study of four versions of a therapeutic protein drug—all manufactured from living cells—reports that an established analytical tool akin to magnetic resonance imaging reliably assessed the ...

Recommended for you

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

Researchers develop swallowable test to detect pre-cancerous Barrett's esophagus

January 17, 2018
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus that offers promise ...

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

Presurgical targeted therapy delays relapse of high-risk stage 3 melanoma

January 17, 2018
A pair of targeted therapies given before and after surgery for melanoma produced at least a six-fold increase in time to progression compared to standard-of-care surgery for patients with stage 3 disease, researchers at ...

Dulling cancer therapy's double-edged sword

January 17, 2018
Researchers have discovered that killing cancer cells can actually have the unintended effect of fueling the proliferation of residual, living cancer cells, ultimately leading to aggressive tumor progression.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.