Aspirin Found to Stop Spread of Cancer
Australian researchers have found that aspirin may inhibit the spread of cancer. According to the study, aspirin is able to shut down the chemical "highways" which feed the tumours.
Scientists at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne said they made what they felt was a biological breakthrough helping to explain how lymphatic vessels - central to the transmission of tumours throughout the body - respond to cancer.
Researchers have long suspected that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin may help inhibit the spread of cancer but they have been unable to pinpoint exactly how this is done.
By studying cells in lymphatic vessels, the researchers found that a particular gene changed its expression in cancers which spread, but not when the cancer did not spread.
The results published in the Cancer Cell journal reveal that the gene is a link between a tumour's growth and the cellular pathway which can cause inflammation and dilation of vessels throughout the body.
Once these lymphatic vessels widen, the capacity for them to act as "supply lines" to tumours and become more effective conduits for the cancer to spread is increased. But aspirin acts to shut down the dilation of the vessels. The discovery could lead to an early warning system before a tumour begins to spread.