According to a new study, aspirin and immunotherapy could prove beneficial for cancer patients. To be more precise, if the cancer patient would take aspirin, a pill that works as a COX inhibitor, they could reap more benefits from the general therapy, according to the study.
So it seems that this cheap pill, available worldwide in any drug store, used for migraines and decreasing heart attack risks, could help fight cancer further on.
Moreover, bowel, breast and skin cancer cells generate a molecule known as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), whereas aspirin blocks PGE2 secretion. Scientists believe that including aspirin to an immunotherapy treatment (anti-PD-1) would slow down the development of melanoma and bowel cancers, in comparison to solely immunotherapy care. They have initially conducted the experiment on mice.
So it seems that the anti-inflammatory pain killer exposes cancer cells, whereas the immune system can properly fight against these specific cells. If aspirin is excluded as a form of alleviation, tumors would continuously escape from the “clutches” of the immune system. Therefore, some argue the effectiveness of immunotherapy as an isolated way of treatment.
Basically, aspirin functions so as to reawaken immune cells, via stopping PGE-2 from being manufactured further on.
Nevertheless, the experiment is in its early phase, but it could prove utterly beneficial for cancer patients.
One of the scientists, Prof. Caetano Reis e Sousa, a representative of The Academy of Medical Sciences, member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, said that clinical trials would be needed in order to see whether this specific treatment could apply to human cancer sufferers as well.
The drugs implied by immunotherapy do not always work, at least not in all cases. However, this form of treatment should offer less side effects than other variants of treatment, as doctors still hope immunotherapy to revolutionize anti-cancer therapies.
Thousands of sufferers could ameliorate their disease less costly, as aspiring is cheap, whereas immunotherapy-related drugs are quite expensive. While in the not-so-distant future it is believed that immunotherapy will involve several less expensive drugs, the combination between these and aspirin could prove utterly beneficial to cancer patients who find it difficult to afford current therapy. We will have to wait for the clinical trials first of all.
Many agree, including Cancer Research UK, that aspirin administration along with immunotherapy could be a fairly simple way of boosting treatment.
Photo Credits fda.gov