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article imageNew anti-cancer hybrid aspirin developed

By Kathleen Blanchard     Feb 29, 2012 in Health
Researchers have developed a hybrid aspirin that has anti-cancer properties. The drug is a combination of acetylsalicylic acid, nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), otherwise now known as a ‘NOSH aspirin’.
The cancer fighting aspirin is highlighted in the journal ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.
Khosrow Kashfi and colleagues previously developed an aspirin that was safer on the stomach that included nitric oxide.
Next, another aspirin was developed by the researchers to include hydrogen sulfide which has anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is believed to contribute to a variety of cancers.
Inflammation is believed to contribute to a variety of cancers. Long-term inflammation leads to abnormal cell growth, or dysplasia. Examples include inflammation from infection. HPV can lead to cervical cancer and Hepatitis B puts individuals at risk for liver cancer.
According to the National Institutes of Health, "NO mediates multiple physiological functions in the gastrointestinal tract, including mucosal blood flow, maintenance of mucosal integrity, and maintenance of vascular tone."
Hydrogen sulfide is naturally present in the GI tract has been studied for its effect on preventing colon cancer, given in non-toxic doses.
Dr. Peter Rose, Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore and colleagues published findings in 2005, exploring the role of the hydrogen sulfide for development of cancer prevention drugs.
The researchers noted how cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, watercress and Brussels sprouts convert in the gut to organosulfur compounds, providing a protect effect against stomach and colon cancers.
The scientists who developed the new drug decided including NO and H2S probably had dual benefits, so they came up with the ‘NOSH aspirin’.
Laboratory tests show the aspirin inhibits growth of breast, colon, pancreas, lung, prostate and some types of leukemia cancer cells in laboratory tests, without damaging normal cells.
In their investigation, the research team also found some of NOSH preparations were 100,000 times more effective against cancer than regular aspirin.
Researchers from Queen's University, last year, found taking a regular aspirin can cut the chances of hereditary cancer by 50%. Colon and uterine cancer are the two most prevalent forms of cancer that are inherited. The study was published October, 2011 in the Lancet.
A major concern about taking aspirin for cancer prevention is risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
The Reye’s Foundation also warns consumers there is a link between taking salicylates contained in aspirin and other products and Reye’s syndrome that attacks the brain and liver suddenly and is deadly. Salicylates are also contained in the supplement willow bark.
Aspirin has also been suggested to help women lower their chances of breast cancer recurrence.
The combination of studies related to aspirin for stopping cancer makes the possibility of the hybrid, powerful, gastrointestinal protective aspirin for development as an anti-cancer drug intriguing.
The new hybrid 'NOSH' aspirin could turn out to be a valuable anti-cancer tool, should the researchers lab studies translate to humans.
More about NOSH aspirin, anticancer aspirin, hybrid aspirin, Khosrow Kashfi
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