A team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh announced yesterday that they have successfully carried out a study that shows that aspirin can help fight against colon cancer. However, until now it has been known that over-the-counter analgesics in the UK reduce the risk of developing colon cancer, but their tumor-fighting properties have not been proven.
Experts from the Cancer Research UK said they have found that aspirin can block a key process related to tumor formation.
This new study consisted of examinations of a structure within cells called the nucleolus, whose activation causes tumors to form and is also related to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Not all patients with colon cancer respond well to aspirin but the scientists are optimistic that their findings would help identify those patients who can benefit from the tumor-fighting properties of aspirin.
Aspirin can fight against colon cancer, the study revealed
Scientists tested the effects of aspirin on cells grown in the laboratory and on biopsies of tumors taken from colon cancer patients and they discovered that aspirin blocks a molecule called TIF-IA, which is essential for the nucleolus to activate.
The study could also pave the way for the development of new cancer therapies that mimic the effects of aspirin since, according to doctors, long-term use of this drug can have certain side effects.
Dr. Lesley Stark, of Cancer Research UK, said the team is “very excited about these findings” because they point to the existence of “a mechanism by which aspirin can act to prevent multiple diseases.”
“A better understanding of how aspirin blocks TIF-IA and nucleolar activity offers high expectations for the development of new treatments and targeted therapies,” said Dr. Stark.
Colorectal cancer or colon cancer is the most common cancer in both men and women, taken together, and, in the majority of the cases, the diagnosis is made when the patients already present metastasis.