Frequent aspirin use protects against ovarian cancer even in women with genetic predisposition

19 Mar 2023
Frequent aspirin use protects against ovarian cancer even in women with genetic predisposition

Genetic susceptibility to ovarian cancer does not appear to modify the protective association between frequent aspirin use and the risk of developing the cancer, as shown in a study.

For the study, individual-level data from eight population-based case-control studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium conducted in the US, UK, and Australia were pooled. The analysis included 11,135 participants, of which 4,476 received a diagnosis of nonmucinous ovarian cancer (median age 58 years), and the 6,659 who did not were assigned as control participants (median age 57 years).

In the case group, 2,584 participants had high-grade serous cancer (58 percent), 140 had low-grade serous cancer (3 percent), 688 had endometrioid cancer (15 percent), 375 had clear cell cancer (8 percent), and 680 had other or unknown epithelial (15 percent). Case participants were also more likely to be parous and postmenopausal compared with control participants. 

A total of 575 cases (13 percent) and 1,030 control participants (15 percent) reported frequent aspirin use, defined as daily or almost daily use of aspirin for at least 6 months.

Logistic regression analysis showed that frequent aspirin use was associated with a 13-percent reduction in ovarian cancer risk (odds ratio [OR], 0.87, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.76–0.99). This association was not modified by polygenic score (PGS) for nonmucinous ovarian cancer, with consistent risk estimates obtained among individuals with a PGS less than and greater than the median (OR, 0.85, 95 percent CI, 0.70–1.02 and OR, 0.86, 95 percent CI, 0.74–1.01, respectively).

More studies are needed to explore the role of aspirin use for ovarian cancer prevention among individuals who are at higher risk for ovarian cancer.

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