Cancer fighting effects of aspirin revealed in bowel tumor study

June 4, 2018, University of Edinburgh
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Researchers have shed light on how taking aspirin can help to stave off bowel cancer.

Experts found that the painkiller blocks a key process linked to formation.

Regular use of is known to reduce a person's risk of developing colon cancer but the drug's tumour fighting properties have not been well understood.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh focused on a structure found inside cells called the nucleolus.

Activation of the nucleolus is known to drive tumour formation and dysfunction has also been linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

The team at the University's Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre tested the effects of aspirin on cells grown in the lab and on tumour biopsies removed from colon cancer patients.

They found that aspirin blocks a key molecule called TIF-IA, which is essential for the nucleolus to function.

Not all colon patients respond to aspirin but the researchers say their findings could help pinpoint those most likely to benefit.

Aspirin has side effects that include internal bleeding and it can cause certain types of stroke. Long term use is not recommended. The researchers say the study paves the way for the development of new, safer therapies that mimic aspirin's effects.

The research, published in Nucleic Acids Research, was funded by the Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Worldwide Cancer Research, Bowel and Cancer Research and The Rosetrees Trust also supported the work.

Dr. Lesley Stark, of the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre at the University of Edinburgh, said: "We are really excited by these findings as they suggest a mechanism by which aspirin may act to prevent multiple diseases. A better understanding of how aspirin blocks TIF-IA and nucleolar activity provides great promise for the development of new treatments and targeted therapy."

Explore further: Aspirin slows growth of colon, pancreatic tumor cells

Related Stories

Aspirin slows growth of colon, pancreatic tumor cells

December 15, 2016
Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University have found that aspirin may slow the spread of some types of colon and pancreatic cancer cells. The paper is published in the American Journal ...

Aspirin may increase survival after colon cancer

June 13, 2016
It is well known that aspirin has analgesic and fever-reducing properties. However, this drug may also increase the likelihood of surviving colon cancer.

Good and bad news on aspirin and colon cancer: study

September 6, 2017
Daily aspirin use—known to reduce the risk of colon cancer—could also make the disease harder to treat if it does occur, researchers reported Wednesday.

Regular aspirin use may protect against bile duct cancer

May 9, 2016
(HealthDay)—Regular aspirin use may lower the risk of bile duct cancer, according to a study published online April 26 in Hepatology.

Aspirin use appears linked with improved survival after colon cancer diagnosis

March 31, 2014
Taking low doses of aspirin (which inhibits platelet function) after a colon cancer diagnosis appears to be associated with better survival if the tumor cells express HLA class I antigen.

Aspirin's 'double hit' on bowel cancer

June 1, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Aspirin kills cancer cells by controlling two key processes that influence energy use in cells and could explain how aspirin can prevent bowel cancer. The research is published in this month’s Gastroenterology.

Recommended for you

10-year follow-up after negative colonoscopies linked to lower colorectal cancer risk

December 17, 2018
Ten years after a negative colonoscopy, Kaiser Permanente members had 46 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with and were 88 percent less likely to die from colorectal cancer compared with those who did not undergo colorectal ...

Survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma face high long-term risk of solid cancers

December 17, 2018
New research refines existing evidence that survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma face an elevated risk of developing various types of solid tumors many years later. In addition, certain subgroups of patients have an especially ...

Immunotherapy combo not approved for advanced kidney cancer patients on the NHS

December 14, 2018
People with a certain type of advanced kidney cancer will not be able to have a combination of two immunotherapy drugs on the NHS in England.

New drug seeks receptors in sarcoma cells, attacks tumors in animal trials

December 13, 2018
A new compound that targets a receptor within sarcoma cancer cells shrank tumors and hampered their ability to spread in mice and pigs, a study from researchers at the University of Illinois reports.

Surgery unnecessary for many prostate cancer patients

December 13, 2018
Otherwise healthy men with advanced prostate cancer may benefit greatly from surgery, but many with this diagnosis have no need for it. These conclusions were reached by researchers after following a large group of Scandinavian ...

Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

December 12, 2018
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth—this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel's Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.