Wednesday September 26, 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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Aspirin Doesn’t Prevent Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases, says Study

McNeil said aspirin remains a relatively safe medication but more research was needed to investigate the longer-term benefits and risks of its daily use

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Aspirin
Aspirin pills are arranged on a counter in New York, Aug. 23, 2018. New studies find most people won't benefit from taking daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. (VOA)

Australia’s largest clinical trial has concluded that taking a daily dose of aspirin does not reduce the chance of death, disability or cardiovascular disease, the results of a five-year study revealed on Monday.

Led by researchers at Monash University and involving more than 19,000 participants, the study known as Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE), did reveal a slightly increased risk of major bleeding problems, reports Xinhua news agency.

Head of Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, John McNeil said that the trial was long overdue and he hopes that the results will help inform prescribing doctors who have long been uncertain whether to recommend the drug to otherwise healthy patients.

“Despite the fact that aspirin has been around for more than 100 years, we have not known whether healthy older people should take it as a preventive measure to keep them healthy for longer,” McNeil said.

Aspirin
Aspirin doesn’t reduce heart attack risk: Australian study. Pixabay

“Aspirin is the most widely used of all preventive drugs and an answer to this question is long overdue — ASPREE has provided this answer.”

Aside from the risk of major bleeding problems which rose from 2.8 to 3.8 per cent, no other significant differences were observed between the placebo group and those taking the aspirin.

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Researchers have noted that the results only apply to those over 70 years of age who are otherwise healthy and not to those with existing conditions such as a previous heart attack, angina or stroke, where aspirin is recommended as a valuable preventive drug.

McNeil said aspirin remains a relatively safe medication but more research was needed to investigate the longer-term benefits and risks of its daily use. (IANS)

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