Variant Polymorphism May Affect Aspirin Chemoprevention of Colorectal Cancer
Mar 18, 2005 - 11:17:38 PM

A new study has found that, among women with a common variant polymorphism that affects an enzyme that metabolizes aspirin, regular aspirin use is associated with a decreased risk of colorectal adenoma. But regular aspirin use is not associated with the same reduction in risk of colorectal adenoma among women who have a normal form of the enzyme.

Regular aspirin use has been associated with an overall reduced risk of colorectal adenoma. More rapid aspirin metabolism may decrease the therapeutic effect of aspirin. Consequently, polymorphisms in the enzyme UGT1A6, which metabolizes aspirin, may modulate the protective benefit of aspirin.

To determine whether polymorphisms in UGT1A6 are associated with colorectal adenoma risk, Andrew T. Chan, M.D., M.P.H., of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a nested caseĀ–control study of 1,062 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study. They found that among the women with variant polymorphisms, regular aspirin use was associated with a decreased risk of adenoma, and the risk decreased further with higher doses of aspirin. However, among the women the normal form of the enzyme, regular aspirin use was not associated with a reduced risk, and these women did not benefit from higher aspirin doses.

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