Friday, December 15, 2006

How NSAIDs Like Aspirin Halt Cancer Growth

Study Explains How NSAIDs Halt Cancer Growth ScienceDaily 12/15/06 "induction of a gene known as MDA-7/IL-24 is the molecular mechanism that enables nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to halt the growth of cancer cells, a finding that could eventually lead to the development of targeted cancer treatments..."Although observational studies had previously demonstrated that NSAIDs [such as aspirin, ibuprofen and sulindac] might be effective in the prevention and treatment of several common cancers, it wasn't at all clear how this was happening," explains the study's senior author Towia Libermann, PhD, Director of the BIDMC Genomics Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). "Now, after treating a number of different types of cancer cells in culture with a whole set of NSAIDs, we can point to this single gene which, when upregulated, kills cancer cells while sparing normal, healthy cells." recent years, a great deal of attention has focused on the link between inflammation and cancer. As the body's immune response to tissue damage, acute inflammation serves as a natural defense to guard against injury or infection.
However, in cases of chronic inflammation -- for example, inflammatory bowel disease -- certain signaling pathways that modulate the inflammatory processes become "stuck" in an activated state. Among other outcomes, this course of events leads to the release of molecules that enhance carcinogenesis and tumor progression at the site of the damage."

As one gets older the chances of getting chronic inflammation increases and aspirin clearly modulates this process and in doing so apparently modulates the process whereby some cancers grow. This makes a more compelling case for those that are older to take a baby aspirin on a regular basis unless they have bleeding problems. This research shows the mechanism that inhibits certain cancers so that later they might be able to target and upregulate the MDA-7/IL-24 gene more effectively. Read the full story to get an idea of the amazing research that went into this.

This really is an important story, lets see if the Sat. popular press picks up on it.

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