Saturday March 23, 2019

Aspirin Considered Safe in Lowering Bowel Cancer Risk

Importantly, treatment with aspirin and EPA was safe with no increased bleeding risk

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Aspirin, Ovarian cancer
New ingestible, expanding pill to track ulcers, stomach cancer.

Intake of aspirin and omega-3 is safe and effective at reducing chances of bowel cancer in high-risk patients, according to a new clinical trial.

In the trial, published in the journal The Lancet, these low-cost drugs reduced the number of pre-cancerous polyps — a small growth, usually benign — in patients found to be at high risk of developing bowel cancer.

The findings showed that patients who took aspirin had 22 per cent fewer polyps compared to those who took the placebo.

Those who took omega-3, also called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) had 9 per cent fewer polyps compared to those who took the placebo.

Although aspirin and EPA had beneficial effects on polyp numbers individually, the combination of aspirin and EPA together appeared to have an even greater effect, as it provided another layer of prevention, alongside colonoscopy, the researchers said.

“The trial demonstrates that both aspirin and EPA have preventative effects, which is particularly exciting given that they are both relatively cheap and safe compounds to give to patients,” said Mark Hull, Professor at the University of Leeds in the UK.

In the trial the team included over 700 patients, all of whom had a higher risk of developing bowel cancer after having a colonoscopy.

Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Aspirin and omega-3 safe, lower bowel cancer risk: Study. Pixabay

Participants took either a 300 milligram aspirin tablet, 2 grams EPA in four capsules, a combination of both aspirin and EPA, or placebos only.

The results showed both aspirin and omega-3 reduced the number of bowel polyps in patients one year on from a screening colonoscopy (large bowel camera test).

However, they did not reduce the chances of an individual having any polyps present in the bowel.

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Importantly, treatment with aspirin and EPA was safe with no increased bleeding risk.

However, individuals who took EPA on its own had a slight increase in stomach upset symptoms.

Further research is needed to test aspirin and EPA treatment together for polyp prevention, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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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)