Aspirin could protect against liver cancer.
People with hepatitis B virus (HBV) who took an aspirin a day – often recommended to help prevent cardiovascular disease – had a lower risk of developing liver cancer, according to a study from Taiwan presented at the 2017 AASLD Liver Meeting this week in Washington, DC.
“For effectively preventing HBV‐related liver cancer, the findings of this study may help hepatologists treat patients with chronic HBV infection in the future, particularly for those who are not indicated for antiviral therapy,” said lead researcher Teng-Yu Lee of Taichung Veterans General Hospital.
Over years or decades, chronic hepatitis B or C, heavy alcohol use, fatty liver disease and other causes of liver injury can lead to the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of primary liver cancer.
HBV antiviral therapy using nucleoside/nucleotide analogues such as tenofovir (Viread or Vemlidy) or entecavir (Baraclude) has been shown to reduce – although not completely eliminate – the risk of liver cancer, but many people with chronic hepatitis B are not considered eligible for this treatment.
Lee’s team sought to determine whether there is an association between aspirin therapy and HBV-related liver cancer risk.
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