New research published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that anticoagulant warfarin may reduce the incidence of cancer in older adults.
The researchers analysed data from 1,256,725 individuals born in Norway between 1924 and 1954. Warfarin use in those over 50 years of age was associated with a 16% overall reduced risk of developing cancer. This included a 31% reduced risk of prostate cancer, a 20% reduced risk of lung cancer and a 10% lower risk of breast cancer.
The gold standard for blood clot prevention, previous studies suggest that warfarin may additionally attenuate the spread of cancer cells by inhibiting AXL reception tyrosine kinase-dependent tumorigenesis and by enhancing antitumour immune responses.
“Our data indicate that warfarin provides a possible cancer protection, a finding that may have important implications for choosing medications for patients who need anticoagulation."
Source: Haaland GS, Falk RS, Straume O, Lorens JB. Association of Warfarin Use With Lower Overall Cancer Incidence Among Patients Older Than 50 Years. JAMA Intern Med. Published online November 06, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.5512
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