Friday February 21, 2020

Aspirin Can Be Helpful in Tumour, Colorectal Cancer Treatment: Study

The research team tested three varying daily doses of aspirin in four colorectal cancer cell lines

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Aspirin
Aspirin is a 'miracle drug' because of its potential to prevent diseases that result from chronic inflammation, such as cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and arthritis. Pixabay

The benefits of a daily aspirin may extend beyond heart health to colorectal cancer treatment, say researchers, adding that they have found that aspirin appears to reduce tumour growth and inhibit recurrence of the disease.

The trick now is to determine the right dosage of aspirin that can be used as a daily prophylactic without triggering dangerous side effects such as stomach and brain bleeds, the research said.

“Some might say aspirin is a ‘miracle drug’ because of its potential to prevent diseases that result from chronic inflammation, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and arthritis,” said Indian-origin study researhcher Ajay Goel from the City of Hope clinic in the US.

The reason aspirin isn’t currently being used to prevent these diseases is because taking too much of any anti-inflammatory eats at the stomach’s mucus lining and causes gastrointestinal and other problems.

“We are getting closer to discovering the right amount of daily aspirin needed to treat and prevent colorectal cancer without causing scary side effects,” Goel added.

The study, published in the journal Carcinogenesis, used mouse models and mathematical modeling to parallel the amount of daily aspirin people in the US and Europe are taking in clinical trials.

The research team tested three varying daily doses of aspirin in four colorectal cancer cell lines, including tumours with microsatellite instability and mutations in the PIK3CA gene, which has been tied to increased risk of endometrial, colon and aggressive breast cancers.

Aspirin
The benefits of a daily aspirin may extend beyond heart health to colorectal cancer treatment, say researchers, adding that they have found that aspirin appears to reduce tumour growth and inhibit recurrence of the disease. Pixabay

Then the researchers divided 432 mice into four groups: control, low-dose aspirin (15mg/kg), medium-dose aspirin (50mg/kg) and high-dose aspirin (100mg/kg) — the mouse equivalent of 100mg, 300mg and 600mg for humans.

The tumours from three mice in each treatment group were analysed on days three, five, seven, nine and 11.

Researchers inspected “cellular apoptosis” (programmed cell death) and found that the percentage of cells programmed to die increased in all cell lines.

Exactly how much, however, depended on the amount of aspirin that was consumed, suggesting that aspirin triggers a domino effect of cell death in all colorectal cell lines regardless of genetic background.

The research found that as the aspirin doses increased, the rate of cell death increased while the division rates of cells decreased, meaning tumour cells were more likely to die and not proliferate.

Notably, the scientists observed that low-dose aspirin was especially effective in suppressing tumour growth in animal models that had more PIK3CA genes.

Aspirin
The trick now is to determine the right dosage of aspirin that can be used as a daily prophylactic without triggering dangerous side effects such as stomach and brain bleeds. Pixabay

The finding was significant because the mutated version of these genes has been associated with increased risk of certain cancers, the researchers said.

ALSO READ: Cancer Drugs Can Be Used To Treat Pulmonary Diseases: Study

“We are now working with some of the people conducting those human clinical trials to analyse data and use mathematical modelling. This process adds a layer of confidence to the findings and guides future human trial designs,” Goel said. (IANS)

Next Story

American Biotech Company Works with Chinese Officials to Test Drug Against Coronavirus

Trials to Test Ebola Drug's Potential to Prevent, Treat Coronavirus

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Coronavirus
An American biotech company says it is working with Chinese authorities to determine the efficiency of a drug that can fight coronavirus. Pixabay

By Natalie Liu

An American biotech company says it is working with Chinese authorities to determine whether the antiviral drug remdesivir may provide an effective treatment for victims of the fast-spreading coronavirus known as COVID-19. The Chinese researchers hope to have the answer by May 1.

Officials of Gilead Sciences, which invented remdesivir as a treatment for Ebola and another disease, told VOA the company has initiated two clinical trials among infected patients “to determine the safety and efficacy of remdesivir as a potential treatment for the coronavirus.”

The trials have been warmly welcomed in China, where the nation’s official news agency celebrated the launch with a front page article. Anxious Chinese citizens have noted that the four syllables of remdesivir resemble the phrase as renmin-de-xi-wang, or people’s hope.

Coronavirus
A medical worker holds a thermometer to check a passenger’s temperature at a checkpoint as the country is hit by an outbreak of the coronavirus in Susong County, Anhui province, China. VOA

There are also more scientific reasons to be hopeful, including the case of an American coronavirus patient who experienced a speedy recovery in January, just 24 hours after being given remdesivir. Before the drug was administered, his symptoms had shown signs of worsening.

The first trial began enrolling patients on February 6, said a written statement from Gilead, which says it has provided China with “enough doses of remdesivir to treat up to 500 trial participants.” A Shanghai-based media outlet reported having seen a customs clearance form showing that 2,843 boxes of remdesivir arrived in Beijing on February 4.

The next day, a conference dedicated to the official launch of clinical trials took place at the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, led by Dr. Bin Cao and his colleague Dr. Chen Wang, both top scientists practicing at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing. Jinyintan Hospital has been treating some of the most critical COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began.

Gilead confirmed the trials are “being coordinated by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing.” A filing registered with the U.S. National Library of Medicine lists the Beijing-based Capital Medical University as the trial’s main sponsor and Cao, a specialist in pulmonary critical care at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, as the “responsible party.”

Research shows promise

In a scientific paper based on animal studies and published last week, scientists found remdesivir to be effective both for the prevention and treatment of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV,) which is known to bear resemblances to COVID-19.

“Remdesivir prevented disease when administered before infection and improved the condition of macaques [monkeys] when given after the animals already were infected,” said scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana.

Coronavirus
A medical worker calls his colleague inside an isolated ward at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Hubei province, China. VOA

Dr. Emmie de Wit, Chief of the Molecular Pathogenesis Unit in the Laboratory of Virology at the Montana facility, told VOA that she and her colleagues conducted their studies and submitted their results for review “well before the world knew of the outbreak in Wuhan.” De Wit said she and her colleagues learned about the coronavirus outbreak on Dec. 31.

Wuhan trials

In the Wuhan study, participants are divided into two groups — those “who have developed more severe clinical manifestations” such as requiring oxygen, and those who do not require oxygen.

“Patients will receive 10 days of intravenously administered remdesivir. The primary endpoint of both studies involves clinical improvement 28 days after treatment,” according to Gilead. Cao reported that 200 mg of remdesivir would be given to a group of patients on day one, followed by 100 mg once-daily “maintenance doses” for nine additional days.

Also Read- Russia Allows Chinese Nationals with Business Visas Despite Entry Ban

Patients in a control group were to be given placebos. To ensure objectivity, the identities of the patients receiving the placebos are masked from the participants, care providers, researchers and outcome assessors.

The researchers say they aim to complete the trials by April 3 and evaluate the results by May 1. (VOA)