The Tata Memorial Hospital will be holding a trial to check the efficacy of Aspirin to deter the risk of cancer occurrences or relapses.
Tying up with 18 other cancer research hospitals in India under the National Cancer Grid, the Parel-based hospital, working in tandem with United Kingdom-based cancer hospitals, has approached the ethics committee for approval to hold the clinical trials.
“The proposal is ready and in its final stages to receive a nod. The ethical committee of Tata Hospital will look at it,” said Dr Manju Sehgal, medical oncologist. The reasons for conducting the trial are “purely anecdotal” and doctors are unsure what they will find out at the end of phase I trial, she said. About 10,000 cancer patients will be enrolled in India.
Aspirin is generally taken for pain relief, fever and headache. Doctors also advise it after a heart surgery for clogged arteries.
A dose ranging from 75 mg to 100 mg will be administered to patients who have completed their treatment of either breast, esophagal or colorectal cancer to check whether relapse chances are reduced or remain unchanged due to aspirin.
The thought struck researchers based in UK after anecdotal experience suggested that treated cancer patients, usually aged 50 or more, who were taking aspirin for other medical problems showed reduced risk of cancer relapse. Similarly, those who have still not suffered from cancer showed better chances of not contracting the disease after taking aspirin.“It is only laboratory-based analysis. We cannot be sure yet,” Sehgal said. Though, she added that if Aspirin indeed does what they suspect, then prevention of cancer using this widely available economical drug would become easier. A United States-based study suggested that aspirin reduced the risk of dying due to cancer by 20 per cent.