HealthDay News — Total coffee intake is associated with colon cancer recurrence and mortality for patients with stage III disease, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Brendan J. Guercio, MD, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined the effect of coffee on colon cancer recurrence and survival among 953 patients with stage III colon cancer. Participants reported dietary intake of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and nonherbal tea, as well as 128 other items during and six months after adjuvant chemotherapy.

The researchers found that the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for colon cancer recurrence or mortality was 0.58 for patients consuming four cups/day or more of total coffee, compared with never drinkers (Ptrend = 0.002). Compared with abstainers, patients consuming four cups/day or more of caffeinated coffee experienced significantly reduced cancer recurrence or mortality risk (HR, 0.48; Ptrend = 0.002). There was a significant reduction in cancer recurrence or mortality with increasing caffeine intake (HR across quintiles, 0.66; Ptrend = 0.006). There was no association for nonherbal tea or decaffeinated coffee with patient outcome. The correlation between coffee intake with improved outcome was consistent across other predictors of cancer recurrence and mortality.

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“Higher coffee intake may be associated with significantly reduced cancer recurrence and death in patients with stage III colon cancer,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Guercio BJ et al. J Clin Oncol. 2015; doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.61.5062.