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25-02-2010 | Dermatology | Article

NSAID use does not reduce risk for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma


Free abstract

MedWire News: Contrary to expectations, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) does not reduce the risk for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), report researchers.

“Laboratory studies suggest that NSAIDs exert protective effects against cutaneous SCCs both in vitro and in animal models,” say Maryam Asgari (Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, USA) and colleagues.

“However, few epidemiologic studies have examined the association between NSAID use and SCC risk, and these have yielded conflicting information,” they add.

Asgari and team recruited 415 patients with pathologically verified SCC in 2004, aged 72.5 years on average, as well as 415 age-, gender-, and ethnicity-matched controls with no history of skin cancer.

They recorded self-reported NSAID use in the 10 years prior to baseline based on type; namely, any NSAIDs, aspirin, ibuprofen, and nonaspirin NSAIDs. Regular use was defined as taking the medication in question at least once a week for at least a year.

Following adjustment for all known SCC risk factors, the researchers observed no significant reduction in SCC risk with regular use of any NSAID compared with nonuse (odds ratio [OR]=1.32).

Similarly, regular use of ibuprofen (OR=0.74), aspirin (OR=1.38), or nonaspirin NSAIDs (OR=0.84) was also not significantly associated with reduced risk for cutaneous SCC compared with nonuse.

Further analysis of duration and dose of NSAIDs did not substantially change the results.

“In this case–control study, we did not detect any consistent relationships between SCC risk and overall NSAID, aspirin, ibuprofen, or nonaspirin NSAID use,” conclude Asgari et al in the Archives of Dermatology.

They suggest: “Given the potential toxic effects of NSAIDs, including platelet dysfunction and gastric ulcers, more uniformly efficacious chemopreventive agents with safer adverse effect profiles need to be explored.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert