- Aspirin drug is commonly prescribed for the treatment of pain, fever and inflammation.
- Platelet action of aspirin shows new hope in the prevention of cancer.
- Aspirin was found to prevent the tumor growth when platelets form new blood vessels.
Aspirin is known as the acetyl salicylic acid, which is commonly prescribed for the treatment of pain, fever or inflammation can also hold the key to prevent cancer.
Even though the role of aspirin is not the main treatment for cancer, the drug is being recommended by the U.S.Preventive Services Task Force for some adults to prevent colorectal cancer.
‘Aspirin can prevent colorectal cancer by preventing tumor growth. Platelet action of aspirin can hold a key to anti-tumor effect.’
The research team was surprised on how the drug was able to thwart cancer. Some of them felt that the drug's inflammation-lowering effects to be the reason for the result.
Recently veterans affairs (VA) scientists and colleagues in Texas have established a new theory that tested the aspirin's effect on platelets in mice and cell cultures.
The research findings were published in the Cancer Prevention Research
Role of Aspirin to Prevent Tumor Growth
Even along with clotting, the platelets also play a new role in forming the blood vessels. When new clot forms around a wound, new vessels are required to redirect blood flow. The same action also help tumors to grow. This process can be interrupted by aspirin.
Lab tests also showed how aspirin was found to block the interactions between platelets and cancer cells by shutting down the COX-1 enzyme, this may curb the circulating platelets and their level of activity.
The experiments were carried out using regular aspirin from the local drug store, In some phase, the research team also used a special preparation of aspirin which has combined with phosphatidylcholine, a type of lipid or fat molecule.
Phosphatidylcholine is the main ingredient in soy lecithin, this product also known as Aspirin-PC/PL2200, which is developed by Houston-based Plx Pharma to avoid the gastrointestinal risk associated with standard aspirin.
The enhanced aspirin complex is found to be even more stronger against cancer when compared to regular aspirin. The research team also summarized their findings and wrote that "These results suggest that aspirin's chemopreventive effects may be due, in part, to the drug blocking the proneoplastic [supporting new, abnormal growth, as in cancer] action of platelets and [they support] the potential use of Aspirin-PC/PL2200 as an effective and safer chemopreventive agent for colorectal cancer and possibly other cancers."
The research team also plans to test the lipid-aspirin complex for the safety and efficacy of people who are at a high risk for colorectal cancer
However, the results were found to "support the use of low-dose aspirin for chemoprevention." They also added that Aspirin-PC/PL2200 has "similar chemopreventive actions to low-dose aspirin and may be more effective."
Colorectal cancer occurs when the tumors are formed in the lining of the large intestine.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Weight loss
- Gas pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lenard M. Lichtenberger, Dexing Fang, Roger J. Bick, Brian J. Poindexter, Tri Phan, Angela L. Bergeron, Subhashree Pradhan, Elizabeth J. Dial, K. Vinod Vijayan. Unlocking Aspirin's Chemopreventive Activity: Role of Irreversibly Inhibiting Platelet Cyclooxygenase-1. Cancer Prevention Research, 2017; 10 (2): 142 DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-16-0241
- Colorectal Cancer