Study to examine aspirin’s role in preventing breast cancer spread

Some 3,000 will take part in Irish Cancer Society national research

The Irish Cancer Society today announced a national clinical study aimed at understanding the role of aspirin in improving outcomes for patients. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

The Irish Cancer Society today announced a national clinical study aimed at understanding the role of aspirin in improving outcomes for patients. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Wed, Sep 3, 2014, 13:12

Almost 3,000 breast cancer patients are to take part in new research aimed at understanding how daily aspirin may help prevent the spread of the disease.

The Irish Cancer Society today announced the roll-out of a national clinical study by its first collaborative cancer research centre, Breast-Predict, aimed at understanding the role of aspirin in improving outcomes for patients.

Several international studies have shown that taking aspirin long-term can have beneficial effects in limiting the spread of breast cancer. One of these, funded by the society and the Health Research Board, found women who were prescribed aspirin regularly before being diagnosed with breast cancer were less likely to have the cancer spread to the lymph nodes than women who were not on prescription aspirin.

Researchers will now gather information from breast cancer patients around the country, and laboratory studies will be carried out to examine the mechanisms by which the drugs might act to reduce the risk of breast cancer spreading.

Researchers are also working on identifying biomarkers which could indicate the presence of breast cancer, or the most appropriate treatment for a specific patient. It is hoped that this research may make personalised medicine a reality, whereby each breast cancer patient would have their treatment plan tailored for them based on the unique characteristics of their tumour.

The announcement was made this morning at the society’s launch of its latest fundraising campaign, Paint it Pink, which takes place in October.