By Steven Reinberg
MONDAY, Nov. 6, 2017 (HealthDay Information) — A tablet extensively taken to forestall coronary heart assault and stroke might also guard in opposition to most cancers, new analysis suggests.
Warfarin is an affordable blood thinner. It is usually prescribed for sufferers whose leg arteries are vulnerable to clots and for sufferers with the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation.
Now, Norwegian investigators say it might additionally shield in opposition to any kind of most cancers and from prostate, lung and breast most cancers, particularly.
Decrease colon most cancers threat was additionally reported, however solely in folks taking warfarin for A-fib, in response to the research.
The findings do not show that warfarin reduces the danger of most cancers, cautioned lead researcher James Lorens.
“That is an observational research utilizing information on greater than 1.25 million folks 50 and older from Norwegian nationwide registries, and can’t show a cause-and-effect relationship,” stated Lorens, a professor of biomedicine on the College of Bergen in Norway.
Amongst adults taking warfarin, nevertheless, fewer developed most cancers in contrast with these not taking the drug, Lorens stated.
This research suggests there’s something about warfarin that may cut back the danger of most cancers, stated Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer on the American Most cancers Society.
Nonetheless, “the research doesn’t recommend that we needs to be prescribing warfarin to scale back most cancers threat,” he stated. “Nobody needs to be taking warfarin as a most cancers prevention measure.”
Lichtenfeld added nutritious diet and train are higher methods to forestall most cancers than taking warfarin.
Experimental most cancers fashions have discovered that warfarin blocks a receptor known as AXL on tumor cells, which could clarify why it might forestall cancers, he stated.
As many as 10 p.c of adults in Western international locations take warfarin, in response to background notes with the research. As a blood thinner, warfarin works by blocking vitamin Okay, which is important for clotting. However the drug is tough to control, and frequent blood checks are wanted to make sure the dose is excessive sufficient to forestall clotting, however not so excessive as to trigger main bleeding.
New medicine that do not want such cautious monitoring, comparable to Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and Eliquis (apixaban), have began to switch warfarin.
As a result of these new medicine have a unique mechanism of motion, “we don’t count on the identical most cancers protecting impact as warfarin,” Lorens famous.
Rolf Brekken is a professor of surgical procedure on the Heart for Therapeutic Oncology Analysis on the College of Texas Southwestern Medical Heart in Dallas. He hopes to see a trial testing warfarin in sufferers who’ve had most cancers.
“The subsequent step is to reveal low dose of warfarin is secure and efficient in stopping a return of most cancers,” he stated.
For the most recent research, Lorens and his colleagues collected information on warfarin use and most cancers amongst Norwegians born between 1924 and 1954.
Particularly, the researchers checked out prescriptions for warfarin between 2004 and 2012 and any new instances of prostate, lung, breast and colon most cancers between 2006 and 2012.
Amongst 1.25 million folks, almost 93,000 have been taking warfarin.
Warfarin’s anti-cancer impact was notably sturdy amongst sufferers taking it for atrial fibrillation, Lorens stated.
The research had some limitations. As a result of Lorens’ staff didn’t gather data on different drugs or threat components, “new” cancers might have been recurrences of earlier ones.
Additionally, warfarin prescriptions could also be a marker for different components that may assist forestall most cancers, they added.
The report was printed on-line Nov. 6 within the journal JAMA Inside Medication.