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May 26, 2004

Aspirin and Breast Cancer PreventionThe Estrogen Connection

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Medicine, Cell-Developmental Biology and Cancer Biology, The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.

JAMA. 2004;291(20):2488-2489. doi:10.1001/jama.291.20.2488

In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Terry et al1 report that aspirin use in women is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of breast cancer, especially for hormone receptor–positive tumors. Previous studies have examined the relationship between breast cancer risk and aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use but have not delineated different subtypes of breast cancers to determine this kind of correlation. This report is the first to examine whether the protective effect of aspirin varies with estrogen receptor (ER) or progesterone receptor (PR) status. With the genomic and proteomic revolution well underway, it is becoming quite clear that there are distinct differences in molecular signatures between tumors derived from the same organ. It is well known that the hormonal responsiveness of breast cancers is important for determining the treatment regimen and can affect the clinical outcome. Thus, it is not surprising that one subset of breast cancers may be more responsive to a particular prevention strategy than another.

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