Date Published: 1 October 2006
Fighting cancer with aspirin - Newcastle University
New insights into how aspirin fights cancer tumours are pointing the way to the development of new drugs.
Research published this week by Dr Helen Arthur and colleagues at Newcastle University reveal that aspirin has cancer-fighting effects that extend beyond its already understood abilities.
In addition to its already understood property of blocking an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX), aspirin reduces the formation of blood vessels that fuel developing tumors.
Without new blood vessels - formed through a process called angiogenesis - tumors cannot grow beyond the size of a pea. With this information, researchers can pursue new lines of investigation that could ultimately yield an entirely new type of cancer-fighting drug.
In the study, Dr Arthur and colleagues, at the University's Institute of Human Genetics, show that salicylate, an ancient remedy found in plants and closely related to aspirin, also reduces the formation of new blood vessels, an important part of tumor development.
This finding, which appears in the October 2006 issue of The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), provides important clues to how aspirin works in cancer and in inflammation.
Dr Arthur said:
Source: Newcastle University (England, UK).