Iranian scientist creates gas-filled aspirin to fight cancer

March 13th, 2012 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, March 13 (IANS) An Iranian scientist has developed a gas-filled aspirin that can boost the cancer-fighting ability of the drug, the Iranian Students News agency (ISNA) reported.

Khosrow Kashfi, associate medical professor and Chemistry, Physiology and Pharmacology coordinator at the City College of New York, developed the gas-filled drug.

The new aspirin has been dubbed “NOSH” — that stands for Nitric Oxide and Hydrogen Sulphide.

The report said that loading aspirin with gas boosts its cancer-fighting ability and might even reduce 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 does not make it a good option for healthy people.

The lining of the gut protects it from damage by producing nitric oxide and hydrogen sulphide. Kashfi’s aspirin produces both gases as the drug breaks down.

To test the new drug, Kashfi’s team added it to cells from 11 types of human tumour, including from 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 was not clear what caused the increased potency but the results suggested that lower doses would be needed to fight cancer than for regular aspirin.

The new drug appeared not to be harmful to animals. In mice with colon cancer, daily doses for 18 days reduced tumour size by 85 percent with no gut damage.

“We could be looking at a human trial within two years,” Kashfi said.

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