Iranian scientist in U.S. creates gas-filled aspirin for cancer treatment
Associate Medical Professor and Chemistry Coordinator at the City College of New York Khosrow Kashfi developed gas-filled NOSH-aspirin drug, that can dramatically boost usual aspirin's cancer-fighting ability, New Scientist reported.
Loading aspirin with gas dramatically boosts its cancer-fighting ability and might even blunt the harmful side effects of taking aspirin every day.
Aspirin has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of cancer, however it can also cause ulcers and bleeding in the gut, which doesn't necessarily make it a good option for healthy people.
The gut lining protects itself from damage by producing nitric oxide and hydrogen sulphide. Professor Kashfi at The City College of New York developed NOSH-aspirin, which produces both gases as it breaks down.
Aspirin is known to damage cancer cells, which is thought to be behind its preventative effect. To test the new drug, Kashfi's team added it to cells from 11 types of human tumour, including colon, pancreas, breast, lung and prostate cancer.
"It turned out to be significantly more potent than aspirin alone," Kashfi said.
With colon cancer, for example, NOSH-aspirin was 100,000 times more potent than the original drug, causing the cells to stop dividing, wither and die.
It is not yet clear what caused the increased potency but the results suggest that lower doses would be needed to fight cancer than for regular aspirin.
Further work by Kashfi showed that the new compound appears not to be harmful to animals (Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications). In mice with human colon cancer, daily doses for 18 days reduced tumour size by 85 per cent with no gut damage.
"We could be looking at a human trial within two years," Kashfi added.
Edited by: S. Isayev