From the Journals

Ketorolac may reduce breast cancer recurrence risk, particularly in overweight patients



Ketorolac administered during primary tumor surgery may cut risk of distant recurrences in patients with breast cancer, results of a retrospective study show.

Overweight patients appeared most likely to benefit from interoperative treatment with this nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, study investigators reported.

“This approach could be extremely appealing for parts of the globe where obesity has been strongly increasing during the last decade and where resources for cancer treatment are scarce,” they wrote. The report was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Ketorolac inhibits enzymes upregulated by leptin, a hormone abnormally secreted in the setting of overweight or obesity, which might explain the concentration of benefit in high–body mass index individuals, noted Christine Desmedt, PhD, of the Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory, Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels, and her coauthors.

Indeed, the study also showed no benefit to intraoperative administration of another NSAID, diclofenac, which does not appear to have the same enzyme-inhibitory effects as ketorolac, the investigators said.

This recently published analysis by Dr. Desmedt and her colleagues was based on two retrospective series of patients: one evaluating intraoperative ketorolac in 529 patients versus 298 patients who received no ketorolac, and one evaluating intraoperative diclofenac in 787 patients, versus 220 who did not receive that NSAID.

The investigators found a significant association between ketorolac given during surgery and decreased incidence of distant metastasis (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.59, 95% confidence interval, 0.37-0.96, P = .03). Reduced recurrence was most evident in patients with high BMI (aHR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.31-0.96; P = .04).

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