International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 52–58 | Cite as

Aspirin use and head and neck cancer survival: an observational study of 11,623 person-years follow-up

  • Shin-Ae Kim
  • Jong-Lyel Roh
  • Sung-Bae Kim
  • Seung-Ho Choi
  • Soon Yuhl Nam
  • Sang Yoon Kim
Original Article



Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been associated with reduced risks for certain human cancers. However, the effects of aspirin and NSAIDs on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remain controversial, and the prognostic effects of these drugs in patients with HNSCC are largely unknown. This study examined the clinical impact of aspirin and NSAIDs on disease recurrence and survival in patients with HNSCC.


This study analysed a cohort of 1392 consecutive patients who received definitive treatment for previously untreated HNSCC at our tertiary referral center. Aspirin or NSAID use was considered positive if the patients were receiving aspirin or NSAID medication from HNSCC diagnosis to at least 1 year after treatment initiation. Cox proportional hazard models were utilised to determine the association of aspirin and/or NSAID use with recurrence, survival, and second primary cancer occurrence.


Of 1392 patients, 81 (5.8%) and 89 (6.4%) received post-diagnosis treatment with aspirin and NSAIDs, respectively. After controlling for clinical factors, aspirin and NSAIDs were not significantly associated with recurrence, survival, or second cancer occurrence (P > 0.05). The cumulative dose of aspirin or NSAIDs did not alter survival outcomes (P > 0.05).


Our data illustrated that the use of aspirin or NSAIDs has no effect on survival or recurrence in patients with HNSCC.


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma Aspirin Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Survival Recurrence 



This study was supported by a Grant (No. 2015R1A2A1A15054540) from Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, and a Grant (No. HI15C2920) from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), Ministry of Health & Welfare, Seoul, Republic of Korea (J.-L. Roh).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine (Oncology), Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea

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