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BMC Cancer  2002 

Therapeutic utility of aspirin in the ApcMin/+ murine model of colon carcinogenesis

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-2-19

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Min/+ mice with established polyposis were treated orally once daily from 12–16 weeks of age with either drug vehicle or aspirin (25 mg/kg). Upon completion of treatment, the number, location and size of intestinal tumours was determined. Additional variables examined were the number of apoptotic cells within tumours and COX activity.Administration of aspirin for 4 weeks to Min/+ mice produce no effect on tumour number compared to vehicle-treated Min/+ mice (65 ± 8 vs. 63 ± 9, respectively). In addition, aspirin had no effect on tumour size or location. However, aspirin treatment produced a greater than 2-fold (p < 0.05) increase in the number of apoptotic positive cells within tumours and significantly decreased hepatic PGE2 content.Aspirin was found to have no effect on tumour number and size when administered to Min/+ mice with established polyposis. The findings in the present study call in to question the utility of aspirin as a stand-alone treatment for established GI cancer. However, aspirin's ability to significantly promote apoptosis may render it suitable for use in combinatorial chemotherapy.Despite continuing decreases in incidence and mortality rates, cancers of the colon and rectum remain the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the North America [1,2]. The decline in incidence, and hence mortality, from colorectal cancers is most likely attributable to an increase in recommendations to perform routine screening on average risk individuals and to improved screening techniques [2]. In addition, there is ever advancing knowledge into the pathogenic mechanism of cancer and resulting strides in the development of more efficacious therapies.In recent years it has become evident that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) represent a potential class of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. The utility of NSAIDs, in particular aspirin, in the treatment of colon cancer has stemmed from studies conducted both in animals [3-11] and humans [12-15]. Evidence f


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