Repurposing Drugs for use in Oncology

Cimetidine to help fight cancer

Cimetidine to help fight cancer

A new research paper has looked at commonly used drugs that can be repurposed to help fight cancer. One example is the common used indigestion medicine cimetidine, which can help treat colorectal cancer.

Medical professionals already know cimetidine is safe, from various trials and many years of use. Therefore, it can be easily combined with other cancer treatments. Cimetidine reduces digestion by blocking histamine receptors in the gut, which reduces the production of gastric acid. It turns out that the drug can also block histamine receptors in cancer cells, which helps the immune system defend against them.

Cimetidine may have a beneficial effect in treating colorectal cancer, renal cancer and melanoma.

The researchers found that:

Based on the evidence presented, it is proposed that cimetidine would synergise with a range of other drugs, including existing chemotherapeutics, and that further exploration of the potential of cimetidine as an anti-cancer therapeutic is warranted. Furthermore, there is compelling evidence that cimetidine administration during the peri-operative period may provide a survival benefit in some cancers. A number of possible combinations with other drugs are discussed in the supplementary material accompanying this paper.

Reducing Cancer Risk

One of the most common drugs that can be repurposed to help avoid cancer may be aspirin. There is a growing body of research that aspirin can reduce pancreatic cancer risk and improve colorectal cancer prognosis.

Repurposing Drugs in Oncology (ReDO)

ReDO is a project that has been looking at ways common drugs may be used to help improve cancer treatments.

It’s primary pbjectives are:

– Identify the most promising drugs for further clinical investigation
– Review and bring to the attention of clinical investigators the data for these drugs
– Document on how these drugs can be combined with existing therapies, or with other repurposed drugs
– Develop clinical trials to provide positive or negative evidence of efficacy
– Where necessary, suggest areas where further pre-clinical work is necessary

By finding commonly used drugs that have a beneficial effect in the fight against cancer, the research group also helps provide low cost treatments and preventatives against cancer.

Can Aspirin Reduce Pancreatic Cancer Risk?

Aspirin reducing pancreatic cancer risk

Aspirin reducing pancreatic cancer risk

Researchers continue to look for links between aspirin and cancer after a series of recent research projects have found positive outcomes from aspirin consumption. We already know that aspirin consumption can help prevent certain types of cancer and aspirin may also be of use in the treatment of colon cancer. This time research has found that low doses of aspirin may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

The research was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and was title “Case-Control Study of Aspirin Use and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer”.

While pancreatic cancer is one of the less common forms of cancer, it is extremely deadly, with more than 90% of patients dying within the first 5 years of diagnosis. The most common form of pancreatic cancer manifests in the parts of the organ that produce enzymes. Pancreatic cancer can also affect parts of the pancreas that disrupt it’s ability to function correctly.

The study looked at 360 patients with pancreatic cancer and nearly 700 who did not have the disease. Researchers looked at aspirin consumption among the sample group then used that data to look for correlations with pancreatic cancer.

Researchers considered doses in the 75 to 325 milligram range “low dose”. People interested in preventing heart disease usually take aspirin doses in that range. Researchers found that people who were taking low doses of aspirin had a 39% lower risk of having pancreatic cancer. For people who had been taking aspirin for a long time (10 years or more), the pancreatic risk was a massive 60 percent lower.

While researchers believe there is a link between the drug and lower risk of cancer, they are not sure how the link works just yet. We do know it reduces inflammation within the human body, so that may be playing a role in lowering pancreatic cancer risk.

Before you run off to stock up on aspirin, it is important to note that taking aspirin carries another set of risks. Those risks can include stomach ulcers and bleeding in the stomach or brain.

The American Cancer Society does not endorse the use of aspirin as a cancer preventative. However there is a growing body of research that points towards a link between cancer prevention and aspirin. This research may eventualy lead to new medicines which act like aspirin but don’t have the disadvantages of the drug.

Aspirin May Help Colon Cancer Prognosis

Aspirin and Colon Cancer

Aspirin and Colon Cancer

According to a new study, the prognosis of patients with colon cancer may be improved by simply consuming aspirin!

The research looked at close to 1000 patients with colon cancer over a number of years and determined that of those who took aspirin regularly, 37.9% died compared to 48.5% for people who did not consume aspirin regularly. The study tracked patients for between 4 and 10 years.

The catch was that the benefit was only seen in patients with a certain type of tumor. The tumor in question produces a HLA class I antigen protein which is involved in the immune systems response to cancer cells. Researchers don’t yet understand the full interaction between this type of tumor, the protein and the immune system so more research is needed.

One of the researchers, Gerrit Jan Liefers, said of the results: “If our results are confirmed by others and aspirin is studied as a treatment in a proper phase three randomized trial, then we would have a valid new anti-cancer treatment that is both safe and cheap”. The research was carried out by the University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

This is especially exciting because most cancer treatments are very expensive, and aspirin is one of the cheapest pharmaceuticals you can purchase. According to Dr Liefers, “In a world were new targeted therapies usually cost thousands of dollars and most have serious side effects, this would mean great progress”

Colon cancer is still one of the most common forms of cancer in the world and it is responsible for over 50’000 deaths each year in the United States. Over 140’000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year in the United States as well, so any progress in the treatment of this disease is of huge importance.

Researchers are now looking to understand the link between aspirin and colon cancer, because it’s not immediately clear why this effect exists. They speculate that the aspirin is hampering the ability of cancer cells from the tumors to circulate through the body and develop into new growths.

Researchers urge caution to people who currently have colon cancer, because random drug trials need to take place before we know for certain that the link exists between aspirin and colon cancer mitigation.

That being said, for most people there is no harm in taking aspirin so there is in effect “nothing to lose” by taking it if you have been diagnosed with colon cancer. Of course consult your doctor before changing or adding medications, because various drugs can interact in sometimes unpredictable ways.

Aspirin To Prevent Cancer

Aspirin To Prevent Cancer

Aspirin To Prevent Cancer


You might have heard that taking an aspirin each day can help you reduce your likelihood of heart stroke and heart attack, now there’s one additional motive to consider using a daily aspirin. A number of important new research projects strongly suggest that aspirin prevents certain cancers, and may also be a prospective remedy for individuals who already have the illness.

In a selection of research projects a group from the UK broadened on earlier research that related an every day low dose of aspirin and full strength aspirin to a lower potential for death by cancer over several years of follow up. Folks who were ingesting aspirin for 5 years had a reduced possibility of passing away resulting from cancer, or having their cancer malignancy move to other organs once identified.

From the latest research the researchers looked at the short-term affect of aspirin on many forms of cancer. They found a decrease in cancer after only 3 years of daily use according to the world’s top aspirin researcher.

In another of the recent surveys, the team looked at data files from Fifty one research projects that were originally made to appraise a low-dose aspirin each day for heart attack prevention as well as lowered stroke risk. However they found that ingesting aspirin on a daily basis reduced the potential risk of death caused by cancer by close to 40% after several years; and cut chance of cancer incidence 25% after 3 years of taking an aspirin every day.

Much less than the 10 years of therapy earlier thought to be needed to acquire the benefit from aspirin therapy.

A lot more important are the findings on aspirin’s impact on the spread of cancer malignancy in sufferers. Exposing aspirin’s result on cancer metastasis (spread throughout the body) came from an assessment of recently revealed data files from a few large trials.

Analysts saw, depending on the follow up time period and kind of cancer, there was a lower prospect of the ailment arriving at other regions of the body when affected individuals took aspirin regularly. The reduction looks to be from 40% to 50%, which is certainly impressive since cancer propagation is oftentimes responsible for death in those that have cancer. No medicine has yet been shown to stop distant metastasis, helping to make these results quite worthwhile.

Brand new suggestions now recommend men that are from 45 to 79 years of age have a regular aspirin provided that the potential benefit outweighs the risk. For females, aspirin therapy should begin between 55 to 79 years old, once again, provided that the advantage of the process overshadows the risk. The primary risk is that of hemorrhage in the stomach, which often can be prevented by using small sized dosages.