Scientists have created a ‘super aspirin’ compound which could shrink tumours and tackle 11 different forms of cancer.
A number of studies have already indicated that long-term consumption of low-dose aspirin can reduce the chance of developing certain cancers by half. A recent breakthrough showed that aspirin helps shut down the chemical pathways that feed tumours.
The humble aspirin has been developed into a 'super' anti-cancer compound
However, aspirin can also cause bleeding, kidney failure and serious stomach ulcers in high doses.
Now, researchers at The City College of New York have been working to create a version of aspirin that does not harm the stomach lining and has stronger anti-cancer qualities. The new compound, called NOSH aspirin, is 100,000 times more potent than the normal variety, requiring lower doses to be effective.
Scientists found that NOSH aspirin could be effective at fighting cancers of the colon, lung, breast, prostate, pancreas and blood without harming normal cells.
In a study, due to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Chicago, NOSH aspirin shrunk human colon cancer tumours implanted in mice by 85 per cent. The compound caused the cancer cells to self-destruct, reducing tumour growth with no adverse side effects.
The new compound is based on a hybrid of two previous formulations. One part of the hybrid aspirin releases nitric oxide which helps protect the stomach lining. The other reduces hydrogen sulphide which enhances aspirin’s cancer fighting properties.
A drug based on this hybrid would require lower doses to be effective, thereby minimising or eliminating its side effects.
Lead author Professor Khosrow Kashfi from The City College of New York, said: 'If what we have seen in animals can be translated to humans, it could be used in conjunction with other drugs to shrink tumours before chemotherapy or surgery.'
The next stage for scientists is toxicity testing and clinical trials of the compound, but NOSH aspirin is still a few years away from being used in humans.
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© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012