Aspirin found to boost survival rate in cancer patients in new study
A research has revealed that taking the over-the-counter painkiller aspirin has potential benefits that outweigh the side effects. Researchers at Cardiff University reviewed the earlier studies of aspirin and cancer and published the findings in the journal Open Biology.
As per Times UK, they found direct evidence that patients who took aspirin survived longer and also presented the biological mechanisms that might explain the effect. These include “reductions by aspirin in cancer-related inflammation, abnormal clotting and abnormal blood vessel growth, and enhancement in cellular repair”.
The researchers said that several studies suggest that aspirin could boost survival chances by about 20 per cent across different cancers. Some studies also point out a reduction of about a third in the spread of cancer.
However, they stressed the importance of further evidence since different trials threw up varied results. They said that there “appears to be an impressive harmony between the biological effects of aspirin on mechanisms relevant to cancer, and the effects of aspirin on clinical outcomes in cancer”.
Going by the results, they have deemed aspirin as a "relatively safe drug", especially among cancer patients.
Sam Godfrey, head of research information at Cancer Research UK, told Times UK, “This review examines what we know so far about the fascinating effect that aspirin has on the biology of cancer and how it might be helping to increase survival and prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. But we still need more clinical research to establish how effective aspirin is, what patients will benefit from taking the drug and how much they should take and for how long."
“To help answer some of these questions, Cancer Research UK is funding Add-Aspirin, the world’s largest clinical trial studying if aspirin can prevent certain types of cancer from coming back.”
Around 11,000 patients from the UK, Ireland and India are expected to participate in the new trial. These patients would have undergone treatment for early-stage cancer to see whether regular aspirin use can prevent recurrence or death.