Saturday, June 13, 2015

Study shows how aspirin might halt breast cancer recurrence

Dr. Sushanta Banerjee (seated) is seen 
with his research team (from left): 
Samdipto Sarkar, Dr. Snigdha Banerjee, 
Dr. Amlan Das, Archana De, and Dr. 
Gargi Maity. photo by: Tony F. Barnett
CANCER DIGEST – June 13, 2015 – Aspirin may block or slow breast cancer, a laboratory study shows. The Veterans Affairs researchers in Kansas City, MO, have shown that acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin, dramatically increased the rate of death of cancer cells in a petri dish and in mice.

While it has been shown to be effective for a host of ailments, including colon, gastrointestinal and prostate cancers, the new study shows how it might also be effective in stopping or slowing the growth of breast cancer by changing the microenvironment of the cancer. The study was published in the April 13, 2015 issue of Laboratory Investigation.

Dr. Sushanta Banerjee, research director of the Cancer Research Unit at the Kansas City (Mo.) VA Medical Center first tested his theory that aspirin could alter the molecular environment in breast cancer cells enough to halt their spread in a laboratory study. He placed breast cancer cells in 96 separate lab dishes and exposed just over half of the cultures to varying doses of aspirin. Results showed that aspirin dramatically increased the rate of cell death. For those cells that did not die off, many failed to grow.

In the next study, Banerjee’s team gave 10 mice with aggressive tumors the human equivalent of 75 milligrams of aspirin for 15 days. At the end of the study period, the tumors were weighed. Mice that received aspirin had tumors that were, on average, 47 percent smaller than the tumors from the 10 non-aspirin mice. In an additional study, they gave aspirin to a group of non-cancerous mice for 10 days before exposing them to cancer. After 15 days, those mice had significantly less tumor growth than the comparison group that did not receive aspirin.

Experts suggest patients consult with a doctor before starting a daily aspirin regimen. The drug is known to slow blood coagulation and increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

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