Regular Daily Aspirin Use May Prevent Colon Cancer; Research suggests


DLHA Staff Writer

Aspirin tablets in an open container

Aspirin tablets in an open container



Recently published research suggests that long-term daily use of aspirin may prevent colon cancer, and the researchers think they know why.


Aspirin has long been known to boost aspects of the body’s immune response in the fight against cancer cells through multiple pathways, including prevention of cancer induced inflammation.


The new research claims to add a new angle to current knowledge.


“Our study shows a complementary mechanism?of cancer prevention or therapy with aspirin besides its classical?drug mechanism involving inhibition of inflammation,” said lead researcher Dr. Marco Scarpa, a general surgeon with the University of Padova in Italy.


For the study, researchers obtained tissue samples from 238 patients who underwent surgery for colon cancer between 2015 and 2019. Of those, about 12% were aspirin users.


Tissue samples from aspirin users showed less cancer spread to the lymph nodes, and more aggressive activity of immune cells against tumors, the researchers said.


In the lab, the researchers also discovered that exposing colon cancer cells to aspirin enhanced the ability of immune cells to alert each other to the presence of tumors.


Specifically, immune cells started expressing more of a cancer destroying protein called CD80. In patients with rectal cancer, aspirin users had higher CD80 expression in healthy tissue, suggesting that aspirin enhances the ability of the immune system to seek out and destroy cancer cells, researchers said.


As aspirin is taken orally and absorbed in the colon, researchers propose that more research is needed in how to get aspirin deeper into the gut, to enhance its anti-cancer effects




De Simoni O, et al. Regular aspirin use is associated with immune surveillance activation in colorectal cancer. Cancer. J. Amer. Cancer Soc. 2024 April.



Published: May 5, 2024

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