“If aspirin can become a regular treatment for cancer, it can have a large impact on cancer survival and global health”, comments Martine Frouws, MD, of the Leiden University Medical Center department of surgical oncology in The Netherlands, at a recent press conference.
While previous studies have provided sufficient evidence to believe that Aspirin can prevent certain cases of bowel cancers, ischemic heart disease and Alzheimer’s, the new improvement in life expectancy is a notable optimistic finding that will persuade medical practitioners to recommend the drug to the wider public.
“Through studying the characteristics of tumours in patients where aspirin was beneficial, we should be able to identify patients who could profit from such treatment in the future”.
Cancer patients who took the anti-inflammatory painkiller experienced a “significant” survival benefit compared with those who didn’t. They were followed up for a median of 48.6 months.
Researchers found that cancer patients who took low 80 to 100 mg doses of aspirin daily after their diagnosis were more than twice as likely to still be alive after four years when compared to those who did not take the drug.
The investigation, that will required 14,000 cancerous tumors those in Netherlands, discovered that members that made a routine concentration of aspirin increased their daily life expectations within a continue of 4 existence in relation to people who did grab the prescriptions.
Overall, around 30.5% of patients used aspirin prior to GI cancer diagnosis, 8.3% only used aspirin after their diagnosis, while 61.1% did not use aspirin.
The study found that across each different type of gastrointestinal cancer, almost 28 percent of the patients survived for a minimum of five years.
The study’s findings held up after controlling for various factors including age, sex, the stage of the cancer, the types of treatments the patient was receiving, and other medical issues.
Although the exact reason for aspirin being an anticancer mechanism is not clear, the researchers noted that it could be down to its antiplatelet properties. Circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, use platelets in the blood to block themselves from the immune system’s antibodies. As aspirin shuns the function of platelets, it may expose CTCs, leaving them open to attack. “
Given that aspirin is a cheap, off-patent drug with relatively few side effects, this will have a great impact on health care systems as well as patients”,
“Medical research is focusing more and more on personalised medicine”, Dr Frouws will say, “but many personalised treatments are expensive and only useful in small populations”.
The team is now conducting a randomized, placebo-controlled trial investigating how an 80-milligram dose of aspirin affects elderly patients with colon cancer.