The humble aspirin may soon have a new role. Scientists from The City College of New York have developed a new aspirin compound that has great promise to be not only an extremely potent cancer-fighter, but even safer than the classic medicine cabinet staple.
The new designer aspirin curbed the growth of 11 different types of human cancer cells in culture without harming normal cells, reported a team from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of The City College of New York in a paper published this month in the journal ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. The cancers controlled included colon, pancreatic, lung, prostate, breast, and leukaemia. ‘The key components of this new compound are that it is very, very potent and yet it has minimal toxicity to the cells,’ said Associate Professor Khosrow Kashfi, the principal investigator.
The aspirin compound also shrank human colon cancer tumours by 85 percent in live animals, again without adverse effects, according to a second paper in press by the City College researchers and colleague Kenneth Olson of Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend. ‘If what we have seen in animals can be translated to humans,’ said Professor Kashfi, ‘it could be used in conjunction with other drugs to shrink tumours before chemotherapy or surgery.’
Long the go-to drug for minor aches and pains, aspirin and other so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are known primarily for their ability to calm inflammation. Studies in the 1980