In a large group of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, drinking a few cups of coffee a day was associated with longer survival and a lower risk of the cancer worsening, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report in a new study.
The findings, based on data from a large observational study nested in a clinical trial, are in line with earlier studies showing a connection between regular coffee consumption and improved outcomes in patients with non-metastatic colorectal cancer.
Among 1,171 patients treated for metastatic colorectal cancer, those who reported drinking two to three cups of coffee a day were likely to live longer overall, and had a longer time before their disease worsened, than those who didn't drink coffee.
Participants who drank larger amounts of coffee -- more than four cups a day -- had an even greater benefit in these measures. The benefits held for both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.
Because the observational study established an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship, the research doesn't provide sufficient grounds for recommending, at this point, that people with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer start drinking coffee on a daily basis.
Several compounds in coffee have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other properties that may help fight against cancer.
This study adds a large body of evidence supporting the importance of diet and other modifiable factors in the treatment of patients with colorectal cancer. Further research is needed to determine if there is indeed a causal connection between coffee consumption and improved outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer, and precisely which compounds within coffee are responsible for this benefit."
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