Aspirin May Boost Effectiveness of Cancer Immunotherapy
After conducting experiments on mice, researchers suggest that doses of cheap aspirin might help cancer patients boost the effects of more expensive medicines that help the immune system fight tumors.
New immunotherapy drugs can provide longer-lasting and better results than conventional cancer treatment, but don’t work well for everybody.
Researchers say this may have to do with the cancer cells producing large amounts of an E2 prostaglandin (PGE2), shutting down the immune system’s attack response to tumor cells. But aspirin blocks PGE2, and that when used in an immunotherapy treatment called anti-PD-1 in mice, it slowed the growth of bowel and melanoma cancers better than immunotherapy alone.
Researchers hope that this study proves another possible benefit of aspirin. Including aspirin in multidrug combination therapy for cancer could also help patients keep rising healthcare costs under control.
Next, researchers hope to conduct the experiments on human tissue, although the team says this may be a long way off.