Mar 132012
 

NOSH-aspirin: the scaffold of aspirin (red) bears arms that produce nitric acid (NO, purple) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S, yellow), which boost the safety and potency of the cancer-fighter.

NOSH-aspirin: the scaffold of aspirin (red) bears arms that produce nitric acid (NO, purple) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S, yellow), which boost the safety and potency of the cancer-fighter.

New Hybrid Aspirin Shrinks Tumors, Curbs Cancer Cell Growth

The humble aspirin may soon have a new role. Scientists from The City College of New York have developed a new aspirin compound that has great promise to be not only an extremely potent cancer-fighter, but even safer than the classic medicine cabinet staple.

The new designer aspirin curbed the growth of 11 different types of human cancer cells in culture without harming normal cells, reported a team from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of The City College of New York in a paper published this month in the journal ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. The cancers controlled included colon, pancreatic, lung, prostate, breast, and leukemia. “The key components of this new compound are that it is very, very potent and yet it has minimal toxicity to the cells,” said Associate Professor Khosrow Kashfi, the principal investigator.

The aspirin compound also shrank human colon cancer tumors by 85 percent in live animals, again without adverse effects, according to a second paper in press by the City College researchers and colleague Kenneth Olson of Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend. Their results will appear in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, now available online.  “If what we have seen in animals can be translated to humans,” said Professor Kashfi, “it could be used in conjunction with other drugs to shrink tumors before chemotherapy or surgery.”

Long the go-to drug for minor aches and pains, aspirin and other so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are known primarily for their ability to calm inflammation. Studies in the 1980’s resolved a decades-old debate on the utility of a daily dose of aspirin to cut the risk of heart attack and stroke.

More recent studies tracking regular use of the drug and other NSAIDs demonstrated their remarkable ability to inhibit the growth of cancer. “There’s a lot of data on aspirin showing that when taken on a regular basis, on average it reduces the risk of development of colon cancer by about 50% compared to nonusers,” noted Professor Kashfi.

The fly in the ointment has been that prolonged use of aspirin posed its own dangers: side effects ranging from bleeding ulcers to kidney failure. To resolve this, the researchers created a hybrid of two earlier formulations, which they have called “NOSH-aspirin.” They used the aspirin as a scaffold to support two molecules that have been shown to increase the drug’s safety and potency.

One arm of the hybrid aspirin releases nitric oxide (NO), which helps protect the stomach lining. The other releases hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which the researchers have previously shown enhances aspirin’s cancer-fighting ability. The researchers suspected that the hybrid would be more effective than either of the two components alone to boost aspirin’s safety and power against cancer.

“The hybrid is more potent – and it is more potent by orders of magnitude – compared to aspirin,” said Kashfi. Only 24 hours after treating a culture of cancer cells, the NOSH-aspirin demonstrated 100,000 times greater potency than aspirin alone. “At 72 hours it is about 250,000 times more potent in an in-vitro cell culture against human colon cancer,” Kashfi added. “So you need a lower amount to get the same result.”

The effect of the hybrid was also far greater than the sum of its parts. Its potency was as much as 15,000 times greater than existing NO-aspirins and 80-fold more than those that incorporate H2S. The upshot is that a drug based on this hybrid would require lower doses to be effective, minimizing or potentially eliminating its side effects.

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  One Response to “Could a NOSH-Aspirin-a-Day Keep Cancer Away?”

  1. This is Encouraging Research on the NOSH Aspirin. NOSH Aspirin offers cancer victims & their families hope. The FDA’s approval could become a useful tool in giving doctor’s another method of treatment.

    Additionally, NOSH Aspirin would help people like me who cannot take NSAIDS, such as regular Aspirin, Aleve, Motrin, etc., due to gastrointestinal bleeding.

    I am waiting to see with great expectation the FDA’s approval of the NOSH Aspirin.

    Our immediate family on my husband’s side has to date lost “9” family member’s to a variety of different cancers.

    More recently in August 2014 another male cousin was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor just below his knee that required surgery. His long-term outcome is unknown.

    I am concerned for & sinsitive to any person who comes down with cancer. However, my concern is very personal. My husband of nearly 47 years came down with a very aggressive form of prostate cancer that required an immediate Radical Prostectomy surgery in May 2012. His long-term outcome & his ultimate prognosis is uncertain.

    The FDA’s approval of the NOSH Aspirin would offer Hope to many. Would give doctor’s another method of treatment. And more importantly supports the Hippocratic Oath of, “Do No Harm.”

    Selfishly I ask you, “How many more of our family members have to die?” I do not want my husband to be number 10.

    Thank you for reading this personal account of our cancer experience.

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