We thank our correspondent for his constructive comment, mentioning the meta-analysis by Rothwell et al., “Effects of daily aspirin on long-term risk of death due to cancer: analysis of individual patient data from randomised trials.” Since this undoubtedly remarkable original research study was published in January 2011, we were not able to include it in our article, whose final version was accepted by the editors in May 2010.
However, even on the background of the cited study, we still do not recommend prophylactic administration of acetylsalicylic acid with the aim to reduce cancer. In spite of the surprisingly large potential for cancer reduction, especially for gastrointestinal cancers, it should be borne in mind that the data came from studies with a different objective (prevention of vascular events). Especially in view of the side effect profile, in particularly the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, further validation by study data is required. Not least the authors themselves do not unequivocally recommend prophylactic administration unless a concomitant relevant vascular indication exists.
Dr. med. Angelika Behrens
Prof. Dr. med. Christian Ell
Dr. Horst-Schmidt-Kliniken, Wiesbaden
Conflict of interest statement
All authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.
|1.||Behrens A, Pech O, Graupe F, May A, Lorenz D, Ell C: Barrett’s adenocarcinoma of the esophagus—better outcomes through new methods of diagnosis and treatment. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2011; 108(18): 313–9.|