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  • Regular use of aspirin or acetaminophen and risk of brain tumors

    Final Number:

    Evan Winograd MD; Robert A. Fenstermaker MD; Hakeem Jon Shakir MD

    Study Design:

    Subject Category:

    Meeting: Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2014 Annual Meeting

    Introduction: Regular use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been hypothesized to be associated with reduced risk of cancer, although few studies have examined associations with brain tumor risk.

    Methods: The current study investigated the effects of regular aspirin or acetaminophen use on brain tumor risk among 176 individuals with primary, incident brain tumors and 704 age and sex matched hospital controls with non-neoplastic conditions who completed a comprehensive epidemiologic questionnaire.

    Results: Results indicate that regular aspirin use may be associated with decreased brain tumor risk among men [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.40–1.01], but not among women (aOR 1.13, 95% CI 0.65–1.95). Similarly, regular acetaminophen use may have been associated with decreased risk among men (aOR 0.58, 95% CI 0.26-1.29), with the most pronounced effect noted for men who had used acetaminophen regularly for more than 10 years (aOR 0.10, 95% CI 0.01-0.79).

    Conclusions: Based on these results, Aspirin may have a chemoprotective or anti-gliomagenesis effect with regard to brain tumors, indicating the need for further investigation in both basic sciences and larger clinical studies.

    Patient Care: With the proposed inverse relationship between NSAIDs and glioblastoma in this patient population, this may be an additive to current therapeutic measures, or may in the future be used as a preventive measure in patients with strong family histories of glioblastoma or glioma in general.

    Learning Objectives: Based on this session, participants should be aware of the possibility that basic medications such as NSAIDs, specifically aspirin, have a potential anti-gliomagenesis effect.

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