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Approved research

Assessing the associations between the use of common non-cancer medications and the risk of cancer at selected sites

Principal Investigator: Dr Agnès Fournier
Approved Research ID: 59281
Approval date: April 30th 2020

Lay summary

Some medications may have unexpected effects on the risk of cancers. For example, menopausal hormone therapy, which was widely used in women to alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, has been shown to increase breast cancer risk. On the other hand, drugs such as aspirin or the antidiabetic metformin are considered as potential chemopreventive agents towards some cancer sites. However, to date, no firm conclusion has been reached for many common non-cancer medications such as antihypertensive drugs, lipid-lowering drugs, antidepressants, proton-pump inhibitors, or anti-inflammatory drugs regarding their effect on cancer incidence. Our aim is therefore to evaluate the association between these drugs and the risk of cancer incidence at selected, frequent cancer sites (breast, prostate, colon-rectum, lung, skin). Our results will provide information allowing a better appraisal of the benefit-risk ratio of common medications and may help identifying already existing drugs that could be repurposed for cancer prevention.