Can Aspirin or EPA assist on colorectal cancer prevention?
Researchers recently analyzed whether aspirin, EPA, or a compound of both can lessen colorectal pre-cancerous polyps.
It is commonly known that pre-cancerous polyps can be indicative of colorectal cancer because of their effect on the lining of the colon. Therefore, lessening of these indicators could make for a remarkable prevention method.
The investigation was a randomized, double-blinded controlled trial. Meaning, neither the participants nor the investigators knew who received which medication. Colonoscopy screened individuals were between 55 and 73 years old and were either randomly given EPA and aspirin, aspirin and placebo, EPA and placebo, or a double dose of placebo.
The dose of EPA was two doses of 2 g 99% EPA-FFA per day (or another equivalent type of EPA) while aspirin was one 300mg enteric-coated aspirin tablet per day. At the 12-month mark, there was a final colonoscopy screen to see the results. They had 709 participants: 179 received EPA, 177 got aspirin, 177 got both drugs, and 176 received the placebo.
Of the four groups, researchers found that there was no significant difference in the adenoma detection rate. They did, however, see fewer pre-cancerous polyps in the group that received both drugs, compared to the other groups (placebo alone, EPA alone, and aspirin alone). EPA seemed to affect different types of lesions differently. Aspirin appeared to diminish the appearance of conventional pre-cancerous polyps in certain types of lesions, but the adenoma detection rate difference compared to the baseline in both groups was statistically irrelevant.
Overall, over a 12-month trial, there was no advantage to either EPA or aspirin in adenoma detection rate but there was a reduced number of pre-cancerous polyps for aspirin users. EPA and aspirin have different effects depending on the types of polyps and other factors.
Conventional adenomas in the left colorectum were lower than those in the EPA group, while a reduction in the right colon was attributed to the aspirin group.
Coming research could use the outcomes of this experiment and suppose a further personalized medical approach to define which patients would see the greatest enhancement from using EPA, aspirin or both, in extension to other considerations.