Sunday November 18, 2018

Using aspirin may reduce obesity’s effect on cancer, finds study

To study how obesity affects this defence mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.

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To study how obesity affects this defense mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.
Representational Image, Pixabay
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Aspirin, a medication used to treat pain, fever or inflammation, could significantly reduce the effects of obesity on cancer, suggests a study on mice.

Obesity is a known risk factor for certain types of cancer, including colon, pancreatic and breast cancer.

The new study, from Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, showed that obesity could enhance cancer development by slowing down the key cancer defence mechanism.

“Epithelial” cells lining the surfaces of organs have the intrinsic ability to remove potentially malignant cells from their midst. This is called the “epithelial defense against cancer” mechanism.

Normally, the cells sense harmful cells and push them out by the process called cell competition.

Obesity is a known risk factor for certain types of cancer, including colon, pancreatic and breast cancer.
Medicines. Pixabay

“This is the first report to show that obesity and chronic inflammation can influence competitive interaction between normal cells and transformed cells,” said lead author Yasuyuki Fujita.

“It implies other factors such as infection, smoking, sleeping patterns and ageing may also affect cell competition,” Fujita added.

To study how obesity affects this defense mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.

Epithelial cells usually remove the potentially malignant Ras-transformed cells.

Feeding the Ras mice high-fat diets, which resulted in severe obesity, suppressed the defense mechanism and therefore increased the number of Ras-transformed cells remaining in the tissue.

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This suppression was seen in the intestine and pancreas, but not in the lungs, the researchers noted.

A month later, the Ras-transformed cells developed a tumor in the pancreas of mice with the high-fat diet.

Further experiments using the mice model and cultured cells revealed that fatty acids and chronic inflammation cause the suppression of the defense mechanism.

However, when mice fed a high-fat diet were treated with aspirin, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, the defense mechanism was substantially enhanced.

This implies that reinforcing the epithelial defense mechanism with anti-inflammatory drugs could be utilized for cancer prevention, the researchers said. (IANS)

 

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High Exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation Increase Risk of Cancer

Interestingly, the team found that rats exposed to whole body RFR lived longer than rats unexposed to any radiation

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High exposure to radio frequency radiation linked to cancer. Pixabay

Exposure to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) — used in 2G and 3G cell phones — can increase the risk of cancer tumours in the heart, brain and adrenal gland, researchers have warned.

The study, led by the US National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Programme (NTP), looked at the effects of exposing rodents to extremely high levels of radiofrequency throughout the entire body.

While high levels of RFR caused cancerous tumours in the heart (found very rarely in humans), brain and adrenal gland, of male rats, the findings on female rats were ambiguous.

“The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone. In our studies, rats and mice received radio frequency radiation across their whole bodies,” John Bucher, researcher from the NTP, said in a statement.

“By contrast, people are mostly exposed in specific local tissues close to where they hold the phone,” Bucher added.

For the study, the team housed the animals in chambers specifically designed for the study.

Exposure to RFR began in the womb for rats and at 5 to 6 weeks old for mice, and continued for up to two years, or most of their natural lifetime.

Breast Cancer
Cancer ribbon. Pixabay

However, the RFR exposure was intermittent — 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off — totalling about nine hours each day.

In addition, the RFR levels ranged from 1.5-6 watts per kilogram in rats, and 2.5-10 watts per kilogram in mice.

“We believe that the link between radio frequency radiation and tumours in male rats is real,” Bucher noted.

Interestingly, the team found that rats exposed to whole body RFR lived longer than rats unexposed to any radiation.

“This may be explained by an observed decrease in chronic kidney problems that are often the cause of death in older rats,” the researchers noted.

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According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while animal studies contribute to discussions on the topic, “this study was not designed to test the safety of cell phone use in humans, so we cannot draw conclusions about the risks of cell phone use from it.”

Since the exposure levels and durations in the studies were greater than what people experience, “we agree that these findings should not be applied to human cell phone usage”, the FDA said on Thursday. (IANS)