Aspirin, also called acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is a drug that is commonly used for relieving mild pains like headaches and pains, reducing fever, and also used as an anti-inflammatory medicine. Nearly one year back, a team of researcher found small doses of Aspirin to be useful for preventing heart attack and strokes in high-risk patients. Since then Aspirin is somehow considered as ‘wonder drug’ in medical theory. Now a team of scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-Madras) has claimed that aspirin can also cure cancer by terminating the malignant cancer cells.

The latest research is not the first to claim the role of Aspirin in preventing and curing cancer. Earlier, a number of studies have suggested that the commonly used headache drug can have a significant role in healing and preventing cancer by terminating cancer cells in the body, but this research is the first one to provide sufficient evidence on how the cheap tablet fights off the tumour cells. As shown by the researcher in their paper, the common drug pills drive the high intensity of calcium atoms in the mitochondria of the cancer cells and prevent it from breaking down food into energy. Aspirin also acts against this energy fabrication and emits toxic substances that destroy the cell, resulting in the complete wiping out of the tumour cells from the body.

The new study, published in the peer-reviewed science journal Scientific Reports also has claimed that the Aspirin also embattles malignant cells which are rich in protein and known as voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), and small doses of this pill daily can completely drop the risks of cancer development in the body.

Low-dose aspirin, if taken every day can condense the risks of developing cardiac diseases like heart attack and stroke in high-risk patients, and we also hope that the medicine has the same outcome on cancer, said Debanjan Tewari, a researcher at IIT-Madras who started his PhD assignment on the protein nearly three years ago. The detection of low-priced molecules like Aspirin, killing cancer cells can undoubtedly pave revolutionary paths for affordable cancer treatment therapies in the near future.

“For now, we are not assured if aspirin can be directly employed as an anti-cancer medicine immediately as it is subjective to further large clinical studies. But we are sure that the light is at the end of the tunnel,” said Amal Kanti Bera, a Biotechnology professor at IIT-Madras.


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