Sensitivity for detecting advanced colorectal neoplasms higher in those using low-dose aspirin

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/08/2010)

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among people screened with immunochemical fecal occult blood tests (iFOBTs), the tests may have higher sensitivity for detecting advanced colorectal neoplasms in those using low-dose aspirin, according to research published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hermann Brenner, M.D., M.P.H., of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, and colleagues analyzed data from 233 participants who regularly used low-dose aspirin and 1,746 subjects who never used low-dose aspirin. All provided stool samples that were tested with two ELISA-based iFOBTs.

The researchers found that the sensitivities of the tests were 70.8 for aspirin users versus 35.9 percent for nonusers of the first test and 58.3 percent for aspirin users versus 32 percent for nonusers on the second test (P = .001 and P = .01, respectively). Specificities were 85.7 percent for users versus 89.2 percent for nonusers and 85.7 percent for users versus 91.1 percent for nonusers (P = .13 and P = .01, respectively for the two tests). Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve were 0.79 for users versus 0.67 for nonusers on the first test and 0.73 for users versus 0.65 for nonusers on the second test (P = .05 and P = .17, respectively).

"Despite its limitations, our study strongly suggests that use of low-dose aspirin does not hamper testing for fecal occult blood by immunochemical tests. On the contrary, our findings raise the hypothesis that test performance may be enhanced by temporary use of low-dose aspirin, a hypothesis that needs replication in larger samples and followed up in further research, ideally including randomized trials and different types of FOBTs," the authors conclude.

One author disclosed a grant to his institution and a patent application related to this topic. The manufacturer (R-Biopharm) provided free test kits.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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