An aspirin a day does not keep melanoma at bay

13 Jul 2022
An aspirin a day does not keep melanoma at bay

Taking aspirin daily appears to do nothing in terms of reducing the risk of cutaneous melanoma in older individuals, according to a study.

The current analysis used data from the two periods of the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) study—a randomized placebo-controlled trial evaluating the effect of 100-mg aspirin daily in older adults. The first period spanned a median follow-up of 4.7 years, whereas the second period covered an additional 2 years of observational follow-up.

ASPREE comprised 19,114 participants with a median age of 74 years. Researchers used Cox proportional hazards models to examine whether aspirin exposure was protective against cutaneous melanoma. All melanoma cases were adjudicated.

During the first trial period, 170 participants developed an invasive melanoma, including 76 in the aspirin group and 94 in the placebo group. The incidence was not significantly different between the two treatment groups (hazard ratio [HR], 0.81, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.60–1.10).

During the additional 2 years of observational follow-up (median follow-up of 6.3 years), 268 participants were diagnosed with an invasive melanoma, including 119 in the aspirin group and 149 in the placebo group. Likewise, the incidence was similar in the two groups (HR, 0.81, 95 percent CI, 0.63–1.03).

In the subgroup analysis, aspirin showed a signal of protection against invasive melanoma in women (HR, 0.65, 95 percent CI, 0.44–0.92). In men, the interaction effect was not significant (HR, 0.92, 95 percent CI, 0.68–1.25; p=0.17).

The findings warrant further investigation of the role of potential chemopreventive agents, such as aspirin, in melanoma prevention.

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