Thursday February 22, 2018

Aspirin can restrict the growth of breast cancer, says Indian- origin researcher

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New York: A study led by an Indian-origin researcher has found a daily dose of aspirin is effective at blocking breast tumour growth in laboratory tests.

Aspirin is used worldwide as a ‘blood thinner’ and to relieve inflammation, pain and fever.

“The trick is to ensure conditions around cancer stem cells are not conducive for reproduction, something aspirin seems to be able to do,” said Sushanta Banerjee, professor at the University of Kansas Medical Centre in the US.

“We could give aspirin after chemotherapy to prevent relapse and keep the pressure on, which we saw was effective in both the laboratory and the mouse model, and we could use it preventatively,” Banerjee noted.

Experts suggest patients to consult with a doctor before starting a daily aspirin regimen. The drug is known to thin the blood and increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

“Of course there is a risk, but you have to weigh that against the risks of cancer,” Banerjee said.

To test his theory that aspirin could alter the molecular signature in breast cancer cells enough so that they would not spread, Banerjee used both incubated cells and mouse models.

For the cell test, breast cancer cells were placed in 96 separate plates and then incubated. Just over half the cultures were exposed to differing doses of acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin.

According to Banerjee, exposure to aspirin dramatically increased the rate of cell death in the test. For those cells that did not die off, many were left unable to grow.

The second part of his study involved studying 20 mice with aggressive tumours.

For 15 days, half of the mice were given the human equivalent of 75 milligrams of aspirin per day, which is considered a low dose.

At the end of the study period, the tumours were weighed. Mice that received aspirin had tumours that were, on an average, 47 percent smaller.

To show that aspirin could also prevent cancer, the researchers gave an additional group of mice aspirin for 10 days before exposing them to cancer cells.

After 15 days, those mice had significantly less cancerous growth than the control group.

“We found aspirin caused these residual cancer cells to lose their self-renewal properties,” Banerjee said.

The study is to appear in the forthcoming issue of the journal Laboratory Investigation. (IANS)

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Night shifts may increase cancer risk

A positive association between night shifts and risk of cancer

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Night shifts increase cancer risk. Pexels
Night shifts increase cancer risk. Pexels
  • Long-term night shift work among women increased the risk of cancer by 19%.
  • A meta-analysis using using international data from 61 articles comprising 114,628 cancer cases and 3,909,152 participants.
  • These studies found an association between long-term night shift work and risk of 11 types of cancer.

Women who work overnight have a comparatively high risk of developing cancer than women who do not, say researchers. An analysis of international data has confirmed an association between night-shifts and cancer.

“Our study indicates that night shift work serves as a risk factor for common cancers in women,” said Xuelei Ma, co-author of the study from West China Medical Center of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.

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Findings

These studies found an association between long-term night shift work and risk of 11 types of cancer. Wikimedia commons
These studies found an association between long-term night shift work and risk of 11 types of cancer. Wikimedia commons
  • Long-term night shift work among women increased the risk of cancer by 19 percent.
  • Nurses (working in night shifts) had the highest risk of breast cancer, of all the occupations analysed.
  • The population of women working on night shifts have an increase risk of skin (41%), breast (32%) and gastrointestinal cancer (18%).
  • Among female nurses alone, those who worked the night shift had an increased risk of breast (58%), gastrointestinal (35%) and lung cancer (28%).

Methodology

  • A meta-analysis using data from 61 articles comprising 114,628 cancer cases and 3,909,152 participants from North Amercia, Europe, Australia and Asia.
  • The articles consisted of 26 cohort studies, 24 case-control studies and 11 nested case-control studies.
  • These studies found an association between long-term night shift work and risk of 11 types of cancer.

Read more: Chemotherapy doesn’t cure cancer, switch to herbs

“Nurses that worked the night shift were of a medical background and may have been more likely to undergo screening examinations,” the researcher suggested.

The results might help establish and implement effective measures to protect female night shifters. Pixabay
The results might help establish and implement effective measures to protect female night shifters. Pixabay

“Long-term night shift workers should have regular physical examinations and cancer screenings,” Ma noted.

The study was published in journal Cancer Epidemiology. (IANS)