Research Papers:

Association of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin use and the risk of head and neck cancers: a meta-analysis of observational studies

Lanhua Tang, Huabin Hu, Huai Liu, Chengzhu Jian, Hui Wang and Jin Huang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:65196-65207. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11239

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Lanhua Tang1,*, Huabin Hu2,*, Huai Liu3,4, Chengzhu Jian5, Hui Wang3,4, Jin Huang1

1Department of Oncology, Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, China

2Department of Medical Oncology, The Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

3Department of Radiotherapy, Hunan Cancer Hospital and The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, China

4Key Laboratory of Translational Radiation Oncology, Changsha, China

5Department of Urology, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, China

*Lanhua Tang and Huabin Hu contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jin Huang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: head and neck cancer, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, chemoprevention, meta-analysis

Received: May 02, 2016    Accepted: July 28, 2016    Published: August 12, 2016


Purpose: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, have emerged as the potential chemopreventive agents for a number of cancer types, however, previous studies of head and neck cancers (HNC) have yielded inconclusive results. We performed a meta-analysis of observational studies to quantitatively assess the association between NSAIDs use and the risk for HNC.

Methods: We searched Pubmed, Embase, Google scholar, and Cochrane library for relevant studies that were published in any language, from January 1980 to April 2016. We pooled the odds ratio (OR) from individual studies and performed subgroup, heterogeneity, and publication bias analyses.

Results: A total of eleven studies (eight case-control studies and three cohort studies), involving 370,000 participants and 10,673 HNC cases contributed to this meta-analysis. The results of these studies suggested that neither use of overall NSAIDs (OR=0.95; 95% CI, 0.81-1.11), aspirin (OR=0.93; 95% CI, 0.79-1.10), nor nonsteroidal NSAIDs (OR=0.92; 95% CI, 0.76-1.10) were associated with HNC risk. Similar nonsteroidal results were observed when stratified by HNC sites, study design, sample size, and varied adjustment factors. However, we found significant protective effect of ibuprofen (OR=0.85; 95% CI, 0.72-0.99) and long-term aspirin use (≧5years) (OR=0.75; 95% CI, 0.65-0.85) on HNC risk, with low heterogeneity and publication bias.

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis results do not support the hypothesis that overall use of NSAIDs significant reduces the risk of HNC. Whereas, we cannot rule out a modest reduction in HNC risk associated with ibuprofen and long-term aspirin use.

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