Adding aspirin to a particular cancer medication increases its effectiveness against some cancers. These latest findings offer hope for individuals with certain difficult-to-treat cancers. Finding a "cure" for cancer is the Holy Grail of medical research. However، a single catch-all solution is unlikely; cancer comes in many shapes and forms.
Each type of cancer involves different cell types and cellular environments، mutations in a range of genes، and alterations to the way specific cells function; this makes understanding and treating cancer a complex battle.
Some researchers have referred to cancer as a "constellation" of diseases.
One particular type of cancer، which has mutations in a set of genes called RAS، is a particularly challenging type to treat.
Cancers with RAS mutations include some pancreatic، colorectal، and lung cancers، and a small number of melanomas; they have low survival rates. Currently، there are no pharmaceuticals specifically designed to target RAS mutant cancers.
One drug — Sorafenib — showed "marginal" benefits in a multicentre Phase III trial for one type of lung cancer. However، side effects were significant، causing some patients to drop out of the trial early.
Aspirin، or acetylsalicylic acid، has been used in one form or another since ancient times. For instance، Hippocrates referred to the use of salicylic tea to reduce fevers around 400 B.C. Aspirin is still used to treat a range of medical complaints.
Today، it is available over the counter and used to relieve pain and reduce fever. It is also prescribed to individuals who have had heart attacks and strokes as it significantly reduces the risk of another cardiovascular event.
Other research has found that aspirin has certain anti-cancer effects; this protective action seems particularly pronounced in colorectal cancers.