Health News -
Researchers, reporting in JAMA (subs reqd) found evidence that aspirin can prevent the occurence and re-occurence of colon cancer. This time, the mechanism of action is known and may impact other cancers.
It's been long understood that aspirin reduces inflamation by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme. Now researchers, led by Dr. Andrew Chan, of the Harvard Medical School, have shown that aspirin can reduce colon cancer in patients who's cancer expresses COX-2. The new observational study of 300 patients reported here reinforces a 2005 study led by Dr. Charles Fuchs of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Other researchers have begun to suggest that supressing COX-2 and related pathways may be a helpful adjutant to the treatment of certain lymphomas that also express the enzyme. One researcher reports two unusual lymphoma cases where the herbal supplement Devil's Claw (which has an antinflamatory effect attributed to COX-2 suppression and is sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of arthritus and other conditions) may have triggered follicular lymphoma regression.
So we have have another reason to say "An aspirin a day, may keep the doctor away".