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JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 101  |  Issue: 23  |  Page No.: 1650 - 1654

Antagonistic Effects of Aspirin and Folic Acid on Inflammation Markers and Subsequent Risk of Recurrent Colorectal Adenomas

G. Y. F Ho, X Xue, M Cushman, G McKeown Eyssen, R. S Sandler, D. J Ahnen, E. L Barry, F Saibil, R. S Bresalier, T. E Rohan and J. A. Baron    

Abstract:

The Aspirin/Folate Polyp Prevention Trial found that aspirin, but not folic acid, reduced recurrence of colorectal adenomas. This study examined whether treatment effects on inflammation markers explained the trial results. The trial had a factorial design with three aspirin (placebo, 81, and 325 mg/d) and two folic acid (placebo and 1 mg/d) groups. There were 884 subjects who had colonoscopic evaluation for adenomas at year 3 and plasma levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-), soluble TNF receptor type II (sTNF-R2), and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) measured at baseline and year 3. Among individuals not receiving folic acid, there was a 4% decrease (mean ratio of year 3 to baseline levels = 0.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.82 to 1.14) in CRP for a period of 3 years in the 325 mg of aspirin group vs a 20% increase (mean ratio = 1.20, 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.41) in the placebo group (P = .027). By contrast, the reverse was observed among individuals who also received folic acid (Pinteraction = .013). Changes in inflammation markers were not associated with adenoma recurrence. Low-dose aspirin (325 mg/d) is beneficial in stabilizing CRP levels, which may be abrogated by folate. Nevertheless, inflammation markers do not mediate the chemopreventive effect of aspirin on colorectal adenomas.

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