Sunday April 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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Minimum Death Risk For Breast Cancer Patients From Heart Ailments

The scientists found that the long-term risk of mortality from heart disease is not higher following breast cancer treatment than in the average female population

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Breast Cancer. Pixabay

Contrary to earlier findings, German researchers have concluded that there is no higher risk of death from heart disease in breast cancer patients following radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

In a largest cohort study evaluating data from almost 350,000 patients from the US cancer registries, the team found that the risk is no higher than it is among the average population. Good risk management in the hospitals, as well as control screenings at short intervals, seem to make up for elevated risks, said researchers from the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.

Risk of death from heart ailments is less in women suffering from Breast Cancer.

“At first, we were also surprised by this result. But we assume that our study paints a more realistic picture of the actual situation of treatment than clinical trials,” said Janick Weberpals, the study’s initial author, in a paper published in the European Heart Journal.

Breast cancer is the second-most frequent cancer worldwide and the most common cancer in women. However, improved screening measures and more effective treatment methods have considerably lowered the risk of succumbing to the disease.

Also Read: Breastfeeding May Reduce Hypertension Risk

“However, a number of clinical trials have suggested that both chemotherapy and radiotherapy are associated with the risk of suffering heart disease as a consequence of treatment,” said Hermann Brenner from DKFZ.

Brenner’s team analysed cases of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the years 2000-2011 and subsequently received treatment by radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The scientists found that the long-term risk of mortality from heart disease is not higher following breast cancer treatment than in the average female population.

Breast cancer awareness is very important in India.

“We consider the result of our study to be very positive for the treatment of breast cancer,” said Brenner. “It is particularly good news for the large number of affected patients that if they are in good medical care and have survived breast cancer, they do not need to be more worried about deadly heart diseases than women at the same age without breast cancer,” the researchers added. IANS