Scientists have combined two new "designer" forms of aspirin into a hybrid that is effective in controlling the growth of several forms of cancer in laboratory tests.
The study on “NOSH-aspirin” – named for two substances it releases: nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide – was funded by the National Cancer Institute and published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.
ACS researchers -- Khosrow Kashfi, Ravinder Kodela and Mitali Chattopadhyay – noted the two substances are produced in the body and relax blood vessels, reduce inflammation and have a variety of other effects.
Scientists developed the two designer aspirins independently in an effort to reduce aspirin's potential adverse effects in causing bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, while maintaining their anti-inflammatory properties.
The new study sought to determine if combining the two into a single new aspirin might be more potent and effective than either one acting alone – a notion the researchers found to be correct.
The new study showed the new hybrid aspirin inhibits the growth of breast, colon, pancreas, lung, prostate and some leukemia cancer cells in laboratory tests. Some of the NOSH-aspirins tested were more than 100,000 times more powerful against cancer cell growth than aspirin alone.
The hybrids were also found not to damage normal cells.