A daily aspirin could prevent bowel cancer or slow down its progression, a new study claims.
Scientists found that patients with heart disease who were taking low doses of aspirin also had a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (CRC).
An analysis of 10 case–control studies with more than 8,000 colorectal cancer (CRC) cases showed that taking aspirin was associated with a 29 percent reduction in the incidence of CRC.
A further meta-analysis of four randomized controlled trials with more than 14,000 CRC patients found that taking a low or high-dose single tablet daily for five or more years reduced the long-term risk of CRC by 24 percent.
A recent analysis of 27 studies with more than 230,000 CRC patients showed that aspirin use after diagnosis was associated with an improvement in CRC-specific survival.
It is the third most common form of cancer with around 1.9 million newly diagnosed cases and 900,000 deaths every year.
In the UK there are around 43,000 cases a year with nearly 17,000 deaths. Only 53 percent of sufferers survive more than 10 years.
The team from Ludwig-Maximilians- University in Munich set out to find how the drug worked against bowel cancer.
In the study published Cell Death and Disease, they discovered that aspirin induces the production of two tumor-suppressive microRNA molecules (miRNAs) called miR-34a and miR-34b/c.
Heiko Hermeking, Professor of Experimental and Molecular Pathology at LMU, said: “Colonoscopy-based screening strategies have demonstrated their potential for decreasing the incidence and mortality of CRC.
“Another strategy to reduce CRC occurrence is the use of chemo-preventive drugs. Among them, aspirin is perhaps the most promising substance.
“CRC patients treated with a daily low-dose aspirin are less likely to develop advanced stage CRC, suggesting that aspirin affects the progression of established CRCs.
“We challenge the notion that aspirin prevents cancer through a single, dominant pathway and propose an integrative multi-pathway model for its mode of action, with miR-34a and miR-34b/c representing important effectors.
“Aspirin could therefore be employed therapeutically in such cases in the future.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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