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Medicine Science

Aspirin May Prevent Cancer From Spreading, New Research Shows (scientificamerican.com) 49

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Scientific American: In recent years scientists have discovered another possible use for aspirin: stopping the spread of cancer cells in the body after an initial tumor has already formed. The research is still developing, but the findings hint that the drug could one day form the basis for a powerful addition to current cancer therapies. Not everyone responds equally well to the drug, however, and for some people it can be downright dangerous. Investigators are thus trying to develop genetic tests to determine who is most likely to benefit from long-term use of aspirin. The latest research into the drug's cancer-inhibiting activity is generating findings that could possibly guide those efforts. More recently, investigators have started to elucidate a third way that aspirin works -- one that interferes with the ability of cancer cells to spread, or metastasize, through the body. Intriguingly, in this case, the drug's anti-inflammatory properties do not appear to play the starring role. Researchers often inject tumor cells into the bloodstream of mice to approximate what happens during metastasis when cancer cells must navigate the bloodstream to find a new home in the body. When Elisabeth Battinelli, a hematologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and her team fed aspirin to certain strains of mice and then injected them with malignant cells, the investigators discovered that the platelets did not shield breakaway cancer cells from the immune system or produce the necessary growth factors that allow cancer cells to grow and divide in a new location. Thus, aspirin appears to fight cancer in two ways: its anti-inflammatory action prevents some tumors from forming, and its antiplatelet properties interfere with some cancer cells' ability to spread.
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Aspirin May Prevent Cancer From Spreading, New Research Shows

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I take a few aspirins each month and no cancer here.

    I suspect the drug companies will try to isolate what part of aspirin is preventing cancer, isolate it, and remove it from over-the-counter aspirin. Then they'll sell it to us for thousands/month. I guess it's time to stock up on some aspirin.

    • I suspect the drug companies will try to isolate what part of aspirin is preventing cancer, isolate it, and remove it from over-the-counter aspirin. Then they'll sell it to us for thousands/month. I guess it's time to stock up on some aspirin.

      Because this has totally happened before? What else, IPv6 is a plot by the NWO to take over the world?

      Anyways I could see them isolating it and then making a purified version, because taking aspirin in large amounts long-term is not good for you (it will probably result in loss of kidney function, among other things.)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If I eat a chocolate aspirin pot brownie every day I'll be immortal?
    • If I eat a chocolate aspirin pot brownie every day I'll be immortal?

      Just to make sure, we should incorporate graphene somehow.

  • Because I had to look it up: Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid

    • Because I had to look it up: Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid

      Thanks dude. I'm sure heaps of us hear don't know what it is. When I first read about it in an Agatha Christie book from 1914 or something I was stunned that she'd mention such an uncommon drug without giving the proper name.

      • by GNious ( 953874 )

        Odd fact: Due to Bayer's trademark, there's a lot of countries where you cannot buy "Aspirin". Some of them even have access to Slashdot.

        heaps of us hear

        That's a new one...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Odd fact: Due to Bayer's trademark, there's a lot of countries where you cannot buy "Aspirin". Some of them even have access to Slashdot.

          heaps of us hear

          That's a new one...

          MD here, some formal training and interest in this topic. What you say is true in the specific sense that you can not buy the chemical with trademarked name "Aspirin". But you can freely buy the same chemical under it's generic name "acetylsalicylic acid."

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