IMPORTANCE Use of aspirin (which inhibits platelet function) after a colon cancer diagnosis is associated with improved overall survival. Identifying predictive biomarkers of this effect could individualize therapy and decrease toxic effects. OBJECTIVE To demonstrate that survival benefit associated with low-dose aspirin use after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer might depend on HLA class I antigen expression. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A cohort study with tumor blocks from 999 patients with colon cancer (surgically resected between 2002 and 2008), analyzed for HLA class I antigen and prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2) expression using a tissue microarray. Mutation analysis of PIK3CA was also performed. Data on aspirin use after diagnosis were obtained from a prescription database. Parametric survival models with exponential (Poisson) distribution were used to model the survival. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Overall survival. RESULTS The overall survival benefit associated with aspirin use after a diagnosis of colon cancer had an adjusted rate ratio (RR) of 0.53 (95%CI, 0.38-0.74; P < .001) when tumors expressed HLA class I antigen compared with an RR of 1.03 (0.66-1.61; P = .91) when HLA antigen expression was lost. The benefit of aspirin was similar for tumors with strong PTGS2 expression (0.68; 0.48-0.97; P = .03), weak PTGS2 expression (0.59; 0.38-0.97; P = .02), and wild-type PIK3CA tumors (0.55; 0.40-0.75; P < .001). No association was observed with mutated PIK3CA tumors (0.73; 0.33-1.63; P = .44). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Contrary to the original hypothesis, aspirin use after colon cancer diagnosis was associated with improved survival if tumors expressed HLA class I antigen. Increased PTGS2 expression or the presence of mutated PIK3CA did not predict benefit from aspirin. HLA class I antigen might serve as a predictive biomarker for adjuvant aspirin therapy in colon cancer.

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Journal JAMA Internal Medicine
Reimers, B, Bastiaannet, E, Langley, S, van Eijk, R, van Vlierberghe, R.L.P, Lemmens, V.E.P.P, … Liefers, G.-J. (2014). Expression of HLA class i antigen, aspirin use, and survival after a diagnosis of colon cancer. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(5), 732–739. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.511