Saturday December 7, 2019

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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Aspirin may Treat Acute Migraines Efficiently: Study

Aspirin can be safe option to treat migraines

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Aspirin treats migraines
Aspirin can be considered an effective and safe option to treat acute migraines. Lifetime Stock

Aspirin can be considered an effective and safe option to other, more expensive medications to treat acute migraines as well as prevent recurrent attacks, a new study suggests.

The review, published in the American Journal of Medicine, includes evidence from 13 randomised trials of the treatment of migraine in 4,222 patients and tens of thousands of patients in prevention of recurrent attacks.

The findings suggest that high-dose aspirin, in doses from 900 to 1,300 milligrams given at the onset of symptoms, is an effective and safe treatment option for acute migraine headaches.

In addition, some but not all randomised trials suggest the possibility that daily aspirin in doses from 81 to 325 milligrams may be an effective and safe treatment option for the prevention of recurrent migraine headaches.

“Our review supports the use of high dose aspirin to treat acute migraine as well as low dose daily aspirin to prevent recurrent attacks,” said study researcher Charles H. Hennekens from Florida Atlantic University in the US.

“Moreover, the relatively favourable side effect profile of aspirin and extremely low costs compared with other prescription drug therapies may provide additional clinical options for primary health care providers treating acute as well as recurrent migraine headaches,” Hennekens added.

Aspirin
Aspirin is less expensive as compared to other medications that treat migraines. Lifetime Stock

Common symptoms of migraine include a headache that often begins as a dull pain and then grows into a throbbing pain, which can be incapacitating and often occurs with nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to sound, light and smell.

Migraines can last anywhere from four to 72 hours and may occur as many times as several times a week to only once a year.

“Migraine headaches are among the most common and potentially debilitating disorders encountered by primary health care providers,” said study first author Bianca Biglione.

“In fact, about one in 10 primary care patients present with headache and three out of four are migraines. Aspirin is readily available without a prescription, is inexpensive, and based on our review, was shown to be effective in many migraine patients when compared with alternative more expensive therapies,” Biglion added.

Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches and the cause of this disabling disorder is not well understood. There is a higher prevalence in women (18 per cent) than men (nine per cent).

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In women, the prevalence is highest during childbearing age.

According to the researchers, approximately 90 per cent of migraine sufferers report moderate to severe pain, with more than 50 per cent reporting severe impairment or the need for bed rest as well as reduced work or school productivity. (IANS)