Saturday January 25, 2020

Aspirin, ibuprofen Can Improve Survival Rate of Cancer Patients

The researchers pointed out that their results need to be corroborated in a prospective trial

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Breast Cancer
Nano technology offers hope for better cancer testing. Pixabay

Regular use of a common type of medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen significantly improves the survival rate for a third or more patients with head and neck cancer, a new study has found.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, for at least six months provided “markedly prolonged” improved five-year survival rate from 25 per cent to 78 per cent for patients whose cancer contained a specific altered gene, known as PIK3CA, researchers from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) reported.

The survival rate for patients whose gene was not altered in their tumour was unaffected by NSAID use.

“Our results suggest that the use of NSAIDs could significantly improve outcomes for not only head and neck cancer patients, but also patients with other cancers that contained the PIK3CA mutation,” said UCSF professor Jennifer R. Grandis.

Aspirin, Ovarian cancer
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)

“The magnitude of the apparent advantage is strong, and could potentially have a positive impact on human health,” Grandis said.

Within head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, PIK3CA is the most commonly altered oncogene, with 34 per cent of all tumours carrying mutations that activate the PIK3CA gene.

In head and neck cancer associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV), PIK3CA is mutated in more than half of tumours.

In the research, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, 266 patients from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center whose tumours were surgically removed were investigated. The majority (84 per cent) smoked and 67 per cent received post-surgery chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.Median overall survival was 66 months.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Altogether, 75 tumours (28 per cent) in the study had an activating alteration of the PIK3CA gene.

Among the patients who regularly used NSAIDs, 93 per cent used aspirin as a component of the NSAID regiment, and 73 per cent took aspirin exclusively. Most of the regular users started on the aspirin therapy following their head and neck cancer diagnosis.

Through analysis of both cell line and mouse studies, the researchers speculated that NSAIDs likely blocked tumour growth by reducing the production of an inflammatory molecule called prostaglandin E2.

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The researchers pointed out that their results need to be corroborated in a prospective trial.

“NSAID use likely confers a statistically and clinically significant advantage in overall survival in PIK3CA-altered head and neck cancer through direct interaction between the PI3K and COX pathways,” said Grandis. (IANS)

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Here’s how Low-Dose Aspirin may Help Mothers Lower the Risk of Preterm Birth

Low-dose of aspirin regularly can help mothers lower the risk of preterm delivery

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Aspirin
Low-dose aspirin therapy in early pregnancy could provide an inexpensive way to lower the preterm birth rate in first-time mothers. Pixabay

Daily low-dose aspirin, from as early as the sixth week of pregnancy through the 36th week, may lower the risk of preterm birth among first-time mothers, suggest the results of a clinical trial which involved women from several low and middle-income countries, including India.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet, involved more than 11,000 women. The results showed that women taking daily low-dose aspirin were 11 per cent less likely to deliver before the 37th week of pregnancy, compared to those given a placebo.

“Our results suggest that low-dose aspirin therapy in early pregnancy could provide an inexpensive way to lower the preterm birth rate in first-time mothers,” said study author Marion Koso-Thomas of the US National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Preterm birth is the most common cause of infant death and the leading cause of long-term neurological disability in children.

According to the study authors, advances in newborn care have improved survival for preterm infants, but this care is limited or unavailable in many parts of the world.

Earlier studies have suggested that low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening blood pressure disorder of pregnancy.

Aspirin pregnancy
Earlier studies have suggested that low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening blood pressure disorder of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, these studies were not large enough to statistically determine the therapy’s effectiveness in reducing preterm birth. The researchers enrolled 11,976 women with a first-time pregnancy from seven sites in India, Pakistan, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala and Kenya.

Roughly half were assigned at random to receive 81 milligrams of aspirin daily; the other group received a daily placebo. Women were included in the study only if they maintained a pregnancy for more than 20 weeks.

Preterm birth (before 37 weeks) occurred in 11.6 per cent of the women who took aspirin and in 13.1 per cent of the women who took the placebo. Similarly, birth before 34 weeks (early preterm delivery) occurred in 3.3 per cent of the aspirin group and 4 per cent of the placebo group (a 25 per cent reduction).

Women in the aspirin group also had a lower rate of perinatal mortality (stillbirth or newborn death in the first seven days of life), compared to the placebo group (45.7 per 1,000 births vs 53.6 per 1,000 births).

Also Read- Here’s Why Yogurt Consumption May Help in Avoiding Breast Cancer Risk

The risk of high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy at term did not differ significantly between the groups. The low cost and safety of low-dose aspirin therapy suggests that it could be easily adapted for wide-scale use, suggested the study authors. (IANS)