New York A study led by an Indian-origin researcher has found a daily dose of aspirin is effective at blocking breast tumour growth in laboratory tests.Aspirinisusedworldwide as a 'blood thinner' and to relieve inflammation, pain and fever.Thetrick is toensureconditions around cancer stem
cells are not conducive for reproduction,somethingaspirin seemsabletodo,saidSushanta Banerjee, professor at the University of Kansas Medical Centre in the US. "We could give aspirin after chemotherapy to prevent relapse and keep the pressure on, which we saw was effective in both the laboratory and themousemodel,andwecould useitpreventatively,"Banerjee noted. Experts suggest patients to consult with a doctor before startingadailyaspirinregimen. The drug is known to thin the blood and increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. "Of course there is a risk, but you have to weigh that against the risks of cancer," Banerjee said. To test his theory that aspirin could alter the molecular signature in breast cancer cells enough that they would not spread, Banerjee used both incubated cells and mouse models. Forthe cell test, breast cancer cellswere placed in 96 separate plates and then incubated. Just over half the cultures wereexposedtodifferingdoses of acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin. According to Banerjee, exposure to aspirin dramatically increased the rate of cell death in the test. For those cells that did not die off, many were left unable to grow. Thesecondpartofhis study involved studying 20 mice with aggressive tumours. For 15 days, half the mice were given the human equivalent of 75 milligramsofaspirinperday,which is considered a low dose. At the end of the study period, the tumours were weighed. Mice that received aspirin had tumours thatwere,onaverage,
47 per cent smaller. To show that aspirin could also prevent cancer, the researchers gave an additional group of mice aspirinfor10daysbeforeexposing them to cancer cells. After 15 days, those mice had significantlylesscancerousgrowth than the control group. "We found aspirin caused these
residualcancercellstolosetheir self-renewal properties," Banerjee said. The study is to appearintheforthcomingissue of the journal Laboratory Investigation.