|Aspirin Decreases Genetic
Mutations Associated with Inherited Colon Cancer
Ordinary aspirin may prevent the development of a particular type of common hereditary colorectal cancer in people at high risk for the disease.
Research scientists at Jefferson Medical College believe theyve uncovered a molecular mechanism by which aspirin interferes with colorectal cancer development in individuals who carry particular gene mutations that make them prone to get the disease.
Its well known that aspirin can inhibit cancer, says molecular geneticist Richard A. Fishel, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Jeffersons Kimmel Cancer Center, who with Josef Rüschoff, MD, of the University of Regensburg, Germany, led the research.
The new twist is that aspirin suppresses the accumulation of mutations that cause a common inherited cancer. Similar mutations are found in 5 to 10 percent of sporadic colorectal, endometrial and ovarian cancers.
The researchers work appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Drs. Fishel, Rüschoff and their colleagues treated certain colon tumor cells with two drugs: aspirin and sulindac. Both are known cancer preventatives. They found that the drugs largely suppressed the genetic instability that underlies the development of cancer in the most common form of hereditary cancer, known as HNPCC.
Our results appear to suggest a very simple treatment for a common hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome, Dr. Fishel says.