An Asprin a Day Keeps Bladder Cancer Away? - March 25, 2009

My health, stamina, and well-being have improved slowly over the past three weeks. I am not getting tired in mid-afternoon early in the week, and the effect is decreased even later in the week. The 5 days in California were awesome - weather, food, wine, everything. We even got a cool rental car - a Saturn Sky, pictured here (click to enlarge). It's a real eye-catcher in red, which is my favorite color, and it drew a lot of attention from folks and their cellphone cameras. I have slowly been adding reviews to my restaurant review site, which has taken time from updates over here. In other news, our church is attempting to buy our first building and property from another church, and it's been grueling for me working that on top of the day job. The worst is over, for now, as others will be helping out a lot when (if) we go forward.

Today's topic is courtesy of Robert S. in New York, an active member of our little Bladder Cancer fraternity. Robert can use your prayers and good will as he goes in for TURBT #2 tomorrow. Memorial Sloan-Kettering prefers to do 2 TURs all the time, the second done after 6 BCGs to verify grade and staging. Oddly, they don't routinely do the chemo bake post-TUR, which is a very effective treatment with ample supporting recent evidence. So maybe having that big reputation that MS-K has isn't "all that" after all... In any event Robert is dreading that his cancer T1 might be upgraded, so let's pray that won't be the case. He passed on this news article on how a small dose of aspirin daily can not only improve your heart health and reduce heart attack risk, it also strongly correlates with increased success rates for BCG treatments. Read on for details...

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The use of aspirin as a cardioprotective agent significantly reduces recurrence among patients being treated for high-grade, non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, the results of a small case-control study suggest.

The subgroup of patients with carcinoma in situ and high-grade papillary bladder cancer has a "high risk of tumour recurrence and progression and thus represents an ideal cohort for evaluating chemopreventive agents," the research team, led by Dr. Jason R. Gee at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, comments in the March issue of BJU International.

Their study cohort comprised 43 such patients treated with intravesical bacille Calmette-Guerin. Twenty were taking aspirin (81 or 325 mg/day) for cardioprotection.

The 5-year recurrence-free survival rate was 64.3% among those taking aspirin versus 26.9% among those not taking aspirin (p = 0.03). After adjusting for multiple confounders, aspirin correlated with a significant effect on recurrence rate (hazard ratio 0.179, p = 0.001).

Other independent predictors were maintenance treatment with intravesical bacille Calmette-Guerin (HR 0.233, p = 0.02) and smoking history (HR 3.199, p = 0.05).

"The results of the present study support the further investigation of aspirin and other NSAIDs as preventive agents in patients being treated for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer," Dr. Gee and associates conclude.
My statistics training tells me that the low p values are very significant for correlation (though causation is still speculative). For instance the p value of 0.001 implies that there is less than one tenth of a percent chance that the difference between the samples is random. Pretty good analysis here, cheap and easy to implement, with benefits for your heart as well as your Bladder Cancer treatments!

1 comment:

ron said...

As I reporeted on my last posting, my urologist follows the Sloan-Kettering protocol. I am now 1 month from the second turbt and aside from age related slowing down, I am satified with the progress thus far. I stopped taking aspirin when I had blood in the urine and during the multiple procedures. I am going to resume based on your posting.

Thanks again for the blog.

Ron McWold