By Amy Orciari Herman
Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS
NEJM Journal Watch
Patients with advanced colorectal cancer may see a survival benefit from drinking coffee, according to a JAMA Oncology study.
Nearly 1200 patients with unresectable, locally advanced, or metastatic colorectal cancer completed food-frequency questionnaires and were followed for a median of 5 years. During that time, 93% of the cohort had disease progression or died.
After multivariable adjustment, each additional cup of coffee consumed daily was associated with a 7% reduction in mortality risk and a 5% reduction in disease progression risk, with a clear dose-response relationship. When analyzed by type of coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee were significantly associated with lower mortality risk, while only decaf coffee was associated with lower progression risk.
Commentators point to numerous potential mechanisms, including increased gut motility with coffee consumption. They call for additional research before including coffee in colorectal cancer treatments but note that for now, the findings should be reassuring to colorectal cancer survivors who enjoy coffee.