BackgroundDaily aspirin reduces the long-term incidence of some adenocarcinomas, but effects on mortality due to some cancers appear after only a few years, suggesting that it might also reduce growth or metastasis. We established the frequency of distant metastasis in patients who developed cancer during trials of daily aspirin versus control.
MethodsOur analysis included all five large randomised trials of daily aspirin (≥75 mg daily) versus control for the prevention of vascular events in the UK. Electronic and paper records were reviewed for all patients with incident cancer. The effect of aspirin on risk of metastases at presentation or on subsequent follow-up (including post-trial follow-up of in-trial cancers) was stratified by tumour histology (adenocarcinoma vs other) and clinical characteristics.
FindingsOf 17 285 trial participants, 987 had a new solid cancer diagnosed during mean in-trial follow-up of 6·5 years (SD 2·0). Allocation to aspirin reduced risk of cancer with distant metastasis (all cancers, hazard ratio [HR] 0·64, 95% CI 0·48—0·84, p=0·001; adenocarcinoma, HR 0·54, 95% CI 0·38—0·77, p=0·0007; other solid cancers, HR 0·82, 95% CI 0·53—1·28, p=0·39), due mainly to a reduction in proportion of adenocarcinomas that had metastatic versus local disease (odds ratio 0·52, 95% CI 0·35—0·75, p=0·0006). Aspirin reduced risk of adenocarcinoma with metastasis at initial diagnosis (HR 0·69, 95% CI 0·50—0·95, p=0·02) and risk of metastasis on subsequent follow-up in patients without metastasis initially (HR 0·45, 95% CI 0·28—0·72, p=0·0009), particularly in patients with colorectal cancer (HR 0·26, 95% CI 0·11—0·57, p=0·0008) and in patients who remained on trial treatment up to or after diagnosis (HR 0·31, 95% CI 0·15—0·62, p=0·0009). Allocation to aspirin reduced death due to cancer in patients who developed adenocarcinoma, particularly in those without metastasis at diagnosis (HR 0·50, 95% CI 0·34—0·74, p=0·0006). Consequently, aspirin reduced the overall risk of fatal adenocarcinoma in the trial populations (HR 0·65, 95% CI 0·53—0·82, p=0·0002), but not the risk of other fatal cancers (HR 1·06, 95% CI 0·84—1·32, p=0·64; difference, p=0·003). Effects were independent of age and sex, but absolute benefit was greatest in smokers. A low-dose, slow-release formulation of aspirin designed to inhibit platelets but to have little systemic bioavailability was as effective as higher doses.
InterpretationThat aspirin prevents distant metastasis could account for the early reduction in cancer deaths in trials of daily aspirin versus control. This finding suggests that aspirin might help in treatment of some cancers and provides proof of principle for pharmacological intervention specifically to prevent distant metastasis.
Posts Tagged ‘Harvard Medical School’
Despite knowing and experiencing this, I can not resist ice-cream(minimum Three Scoops)
To remind you,I am 61!
No wonder my Grandson, aged three years, likes me!
“Everyone’s experienced that sharp, shooting headache as a result of stuffing their face with ice cream. Previously, scientists have suggested it’s just a result of the rapid cooling and rewarming of blood vessels in the sinuses—but a new study shows that the cause is actually buried much deeper.
The research, carried out in part by Harvard Medical School, used trans-cranial Doppler imaging to study blood flow in the brains of patients while they had ice cream headaches—sometimes referred to as brain freeze—induced using iced water. They also performed the experiment with normal water as a control.
The results, which are being presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 conference, show that brain freeze is accompanied by a rapid dilation of the anterior cerebral artery, which floods the brain with blood and in turn causes pain. When the vessel constricts, patients report that the pain disappears. The researchers speculate that it’s a form of self-defense for the brain:
“The brain is one of the relatively important organs in the body, and it needs to be working all the time,… It’s fairly sensitive to temperature, so vasodilation might be moving warm blood inside tissue to make sure the brain stays warm.”
They also explain that, because the skull is rigid, an increase in blood volume in the brain causes an increase in pressure, which is what induces the pain.
While it’s neat to get a better understanding of what causes those nasty ice cream headaches, the findings could prove far more useful than that. The researchers point out that similar blood flow alterations could be behind migraines and other types of headaches. If that’s the case, targeting headaches with drugs that can specifically affect dilation of blood vessels could bring a lot of relief to an awful lot of people. [Medical Daily]
Scientists are about to request a licence from the UK fertility watchdog to fertilise the eggs as part of a series of tests to generate an unlimited supply of human eggs, a breakthrough that could help infertile women to have babies as well as making women as fertile in later life as men.
Producing human eggs from stem cells would also open up the possibility of replenishing the ovaries of older women so that they do not suffer the age-related health problems associated with the menopause, from osteoporosis to heart disease.
Some scientists are even suggesting the possibility of producing an “elixir of youth” for women, where the menopause is eradicated and older women will retain the health they enjoyed when younger.
Researchers at Edinburgh University are working with a team from Harvard Medical School in Boston to be the first in the world to produce mature human eggs from stem cells isolated from human ovarian tissue.
Until now, it has only been possible to isolate a relatively small number of mature human egg cells directly from the ovaries of women who have been stimulated with hormones. This technical limitation has led to an acute shortage of human eggs, or “oocycts”, for IVF treatment as well as scientific research.
The scientists want to fertilise the laboratory-grown egg cells with human sperm to prove that they are viable. Any resulting embryos will be studied for up to 14 days – the legal limit – to see if they are normal.
These early embryos will not be transplanted into a woman’s womb because they will be deemed experimental material, but will either be frozen or allowed to perish