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Fox Chase Cancer Center Study Shows Use of Aspirin or Other NSAIDs Increases Survival of Men with Localized Prostate Cancer Treated with Radiation Therapy

PHILADELPHIA -- Regular use of aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) seems to reduce the risk of developing various cancers, including prostate cancer. Now it appears that such drugs may help men with prostate cancer live longer, according to a Fox Chase Cancer Center study presented today at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Atlanta, Ga.

"NSAIDs have been associated with reductions in the risk of developing various gastrointestinal cancers and improvement in their treatment outcomes," said the study's lead author, Fox Chase radiation oncologist Khanh H. Nguyen, M.D. "However, any impact NSAIDs may have on treatment for prostate cancer has been unclear. We wanted to see if patients who used these drugs regularly before their diagnosis and treatment gained any benefit."

The Fox Chase study involved 1,206 men who had definitive radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer. The researchers compared long-term treatment outcomes of 232 patients who had used NSAIDs regularly before treatment with the outcomes of the 974 men with no history of regular NSAID use.

Other characteristics, such as smoking, were balanced between the two groups. The follow-up period averaged more than four and a half years.

"Pretreatment NSAID use was associated with significant delays in distant metastases, decreased rates of second cancers and improvement in overall survival," Nguyen said. "Our data suggest a potential benefit of NSAIDs in managing prostate cancer."

NSAID use remained an independent predictor for improved overall survival, even after taking into account other variables such as age, Gleason score and radiation dose.

Laboratory studies have suggested that by inhibiting the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, NSAIDs may enhance programmed cell death (apoptosis) and inhibit the development of blood vessels (angiogenesis) that feed a tumor. The Fox Chase researchers concluded that inhibiting these COX enzymes holds promise in prostate cancer treatment and warrants further studies.

In addition to Nguyen, study authors included research biostatistician Debra Eisenberg, MS, statistician Alexandra L. Hanlon, PhD, radiation oncologist Eric Horwitz, MD, and radiation oncology chairman Alan Pollack, MD, PhD, all of Fox Chase Cancer Center's department of radiation oncology.

Fox Chase Cancer Center was founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as the nation's first cancer hospital. In 1974, Fox Chase became one of the first institutions designated as a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center. Fox Chase conducts basic, clinical, population and translational research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at www.fccc.edu.

For additional assistance, please call 1-888-FOX CHASE (1-888-369-2427).

Media inquiries only, please contact Karen Carter Mallet at 215-728-2700 or Colleen Kirsch at 215-728-7784.

Abstract #2182
NSAID Use Confers a Survival Advantage for Prostate Cancer Patients Treated with Radiation Therapy
Poster Session - Genitourinary
To be presented Monday, October 4 between 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
Location - Atlanta, Ga., World Congress Center


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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