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In those treated with prostatectomy, radiotherapy, anticoagulants tied to lower mortality risk

-- Beth Gilbert

Thursday, October 28, 2010 (Last Updated: 10/29/2010)

THURSDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The use of anticoagulants (AC) in prostate cancer patients treated with radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiotherapy (RT) appears to significantly reduce prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM), according to a study to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 in San Diego.

Kevin S. Choe, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and colleagues evaluated 5,295 men with localized adenocarcinoma of the prostate treated with RP or RT. Of these patients, 1,982 were taking AC (warfarin, clopidogrel, enoxaparin, aspirin, or combination) at enrollment or during follow-up.

After a median follow-up of 59 months, the investigators found that PCSM was significantly reduced in the AC group compared to the non-AC group at seven years (1 versus 4 percent) and at 10 years (4 versus 10 percent). In addition, the risk of developing bone metastasis was reduced. In a subgroup analysis by risk category, the reduction in PCSM was greater among patients who had high-risk disease at seven years (2 versus 8 percent) and 10 years (4 versus 22 percent). An assessment by AC medication type found that the benefit was likely due primarily to aspirin.

"AC therapy, in particular aspirin, was associated with a reduced risk of PCSM in men treated with RT or RP for prostate cancer. The effect was most prominent in patients with high-risk disease," the authors write. "Further studies are necessary to elucidate the underlying mechanism for this effect, but it may be by suppressing metastasis."

Abstract No. 270
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Specialties Hematology & Oncology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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