Researchers seek to crack aspirin’s anti-cancer properties

Researchers seek to crack aspirin’s anti-cancer properties

PanARMENIAN.Net - Studies have estimated that widespread use of low-dose aspirin could lead to a 10 per cent drop in the number of people dying from some cancers, but for every 17 lives saved by preventing cancer or heart attacks there would be 2 deaths caused by strokes, bleeding or ulcers.

While research has shown that taking aspirin for 10 years would have benefits for most people between the ages of 50 and 70 years, there needs to be a way to identify those who are at a high risk of bleeding to enable it to be used more widely.

To address this, Cancer Research UK’s epidemiology expert Professor Jack Cuzick, based at Queen Mary's Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, is leading an international collaboration of experts to find out who is likely to benefit most from the drug and who is at greater risk of bleeding side effects. The researchers will also investigate what the best dose is, how long to take it for and how aspirin works to reduce cancer risk, the University said in a statement.

While the mechanism that aspirin uses to reduce pain is well known, little is known regarding how aspirin cuts cancer risk. The researchers hope to unravel this, which could lead to a new drug designed to have the same benefits of aspirin but without the side-effects.

The researchers, a collaboration of lab researchers, epidemiologists and clinical trial experts from institutes including Harvard University, Newcastle University and University College London will also explore why aspirin appears to only have a powerful effect on some cancer types. There is strong evidence that aspirin reduces the risk of bowel cancer, some evidence it can cut the risk of stomach and oesophageal cancers, and potentially a number of other cancer types.

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