We know Aspirin helps protect the heart, but now that common pain reliever is believed to also help prevent a deadly cancer in women. Researchers at the University of South Florida exposed ovarian cancer cells to various concentrations of Aspirin.
Low doses had little effect, but higher doses inhibited the cancer cells by nearly 70%. Researchers believe the drug may stop an enzyme found in high levels of some cancers. They now plan more studies to better understand the possible role of Aspirin as a way to help prevent a cancer that kills 14,000 women every year.
The researchers also tested the therapy in ovarian cells that contained her-2-neu, a protein that is sometimes found in abnormally large amounts in ovarian, breast, and endometrial cancer cells. In those cells, combining Aspirin with a therapy targeted to block the action of her-2-neu reduced tumor cell growth by more than 80% because there are few early symptoms, ovarian cancer is often diagnosed in advanced stages and kills more women than any other gynecological cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2002 nearly 14,000 women will die of ovarian cancer, and 23,300 new cases will be diagnosed. The study was conducted by researchers at University of South Florida and is published in the October issue of the Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.