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The influence of BRAF and KRAS mutation status on the association between aspirin use and survival after colon cancer diagnosis

Frouws MA, et al., PloS One 26;12(1)

Background
Use of aspirin after diagnosis of colon cancer has been associated with improved survival. Identification of cancer subtypes that respond to aspirin treatment may help develop personalized treatment regimens. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of BRAF and KRAS mutation status on the association between aspirin use and overall survival after colon cancer diagnosis.

Methods
A random selection of 599 patients with colon cancer were analyzed, selected from the Eindhoven Cancer Registry, and BRAF and KRAS mutation status was determined. Data on aspirin use (80 mg) were obtained from the PHARMO Database Network. Parametric survival models with exponential (Poisson) distribution were used.

Results
Aspirin use after colon cancer diagnosis was associated with improved overall survival in wild-type BRAF tumors, adjusted rate ratio (RR) of 0.60 (95% CI 0.44–0.83). In contrast, aspirin use in BRAF mutated tumors was not associated with an improved survival (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.57–2.16). P-value for interaction was non-significant. KRAS mutational status did not differentiate in the association between aspirin use and survival.

Conclusion
Low-dose aspirin use after colon cancer diagnosis was associated with improved survival in BRAF wild-type tumors only. However, the large confidence interval of the rate ratio for the use of aspirin in patients with BRAF mutation does not rule out a possible benefit. These results preclude BRAF and KRAS mutation status to be used as a marker for individualized treatment with aspirin, if aspirin becomes regular adjuvant treatment for colon cancer patients in the future.

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