It seems that every day another use for aspirin is discovered. And, the latest one has scientists excited. Aside from its use for headache relief, muscle aches and pains, and a possible link to reducing the chance of a heart attack – aspirin may be able to boost the effectiveness of cutting-edge cancer medicines that bolster the immune system. With more people covered by health insurance and able to get cancer treatments, this is very positive news.
As devastating as cancer is, the therapy itself, including chemo and radiation, can take a terrible toll on the human body and its immune system. Immunotherapy allows the body to use its own defenses to fight cancer and advancements in recent years has brought new hope to the field of cancer research.
In a recent study, scientists at the Francis Crick Institute have published a report that suggests aspirin may help prevent tumors from hiding from the immune system. And, Cancer Research UK believes it could be a simple way of improving the effectiveness of treatment.
The research showed that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells were producing high levels of a chemical, called prostaglandin E2, which could dampen down the immune response in the body – in effect – letting a tumor hide from doctors.
However, according to the tests, drugs like aspirin are apparently able to change the chemical pathways within the cancer cells that lead to prostaglandin E2 being produced.
And, from experiments conducted in mice, results published in the journal Cell, suggest such drugs can boost immunotherapy treatment.
Keeping the excitement in perspective, Professor Caetano Reis e Sousa, one of the researchers on the project, points out that they are a ways from using human patients for test studies. In fact, he stresses this is all preclinical research using mouse models, but adds they would now like to set up a clinical trial to formally demonstrate that a positive result could also occur in humans.
Receiving a great deal of scientific attention lately, immunotherapy is one of the most promising fields in cancer research with some trials showing that terminal cancers can be shrunk and even disappear completely in rare cases. And, while some don’t consider the findings as a revolution, they do feel it’s an evolution that could help oncologists and immunologists achieve an even greater rate of remission.
Although there have been previous suggestions that aspirin can prevent cancers forming in the first place, tests have yet to prove that conclusively.
One thing you can expect when it comes to health care coverage as mandated by the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – is that you are subject to a penalty for not having health insurance. Your health is too important to neglect. Why not get a free California health insurance quote today?
Do you think aspirin can be used effectively to cure even more health issues in ways that are yet to be discovered? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.