A Research Blog

aspirinAspirin is the poster child for repurposed drugs. It was initially used over a century ago to treat pain, fever and inflammation. In the 1980s, researchers noted that its mild blood thinning side effect was highly effective in preventing recurrent heart attacks and strokes. Now, the interest in aspirin has shifted from cardiovascular to cancer prevention and treatment. In fact, the National Cancer Institute in the United States highlighted the role of aspirin in cancer treatment as one of the most ‘provocative questions’ to answer in 2012.

Multiple studies have shown a link between long-term aspirin use and a reduction in the incidence and mortality of several cancer types, including colorectal, stomach, esophageal, breast, lung, prostate and liver cancers.

Professor Hui Kam Man, an adjunct professor with the Cancer & Stem Cell Biology Programme in Duke-NUS Medical School, and Dr Xia Hongping, a researcher with National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), reviewed such studies, and highlighted the emergence of aspirin in chemoprevention (preventing cancer) and as an adjuvant therapy in cancer.1


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