Skip to main content

The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be associated with a small reduced risk of lung cancer, according to the results of a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.[1]( "_ednref1")

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The most effective prevention strategy for lung cancer is smoking cessation; however, not all lung cancers are related to smoking. Furthermore, smoking cessation does not eliminate the risk imposed from prior smoking. As a result, it is important to identify other prevention strategies for lung cancer.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to reduce inflammation and pain; they include drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Some studies have suggested that NSAIDs may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, but results for lung cancer have been mixed.

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center conducted a prospective cohort study of 77,125 individuals ages 50-76 who were recruited between 2000 and 2002 as part of the VITamin and Lifestyle Study. They used the Seattle-Puget Sound Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registry to identify 665 cases of lung cancer during five years of follow-up.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The results indicated an 18% reduction in the risk of lung cancer in individuals who consistently took NSAIDs for 10 years. The association was strongest for adenocarcinoma and appeared to be limited to men and long-term former smokers. Aspirin and other NSAIDs appeared to be equally effective.

The researchers concluded that NSAID use was associated with a small reduced risk of lung cancer and might be useful for chemoprevention. More research will likely be necessary to confirm these findings.


[1]( "_edn1") Slatore CG, Au DH, Littman AJ, et al. Association of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with lung cancer: Results from a large cohort study. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. Early online publication, March 17, 2009.

Copyright © 2018 CancerConnect. All Rights Reserved.