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Aspirin halves cancer risk for those with special gene

WASHINGTON -- Aspirin can reduce the risk of colon cancer by half, but only in people who carry high levels of a specific type of gene, a study released Wednesday found.

Researchers previously were aware that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin could reduce colorectal cancer risks, but they did not understand why some saw a benefit and others did not, according to the study in Science Translational Medicine.

Scientists studied tissues from people who developed colon cancer while on an aspirin regimen then set out to understand why people with a particular gene appeared to get a protective benefit from aspirin and others did not.

They examined tissues of 270 colon cancer patients from 127,865 participants followed for over three decades.

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