Understanding how aspirin reduces bowel cancer risk
About Farhat Din
Dr Farhat Din holds a prestigious Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship, investigating how the common household drug aspirin works to reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Her work could help to find the best way to use aspirin to prevent the disease, and lead to better prevention strategies in the future.
Although large studies have shown that small, regular doses of aspirin may help to prevent the disease, it’s not exactly clear how the drug works. It can also damage the lining of the stomach and cause bleeding, so researchers need to understand more about how to harness the benefits of the drug without causing other health problems.
Dr Din’s research has shown that aspirin can ‘switch off’ a protein called mTOR, which sends messages inside bowel cells and is often faulty in cancer. She is investigating how aspirin works on mTOR, using cells grown in the lab and samples taken from patients, in order to unravel exactly how the drug exerts its cancer-preventing effects.
Understanding how aspirin prevents bowel cancer on a molecular level will lead to more effective ways to cut the risk of the disease, with fewer unwanted side effects. Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, so finding ways to prevent it could save thousands of lives.
Other research projects by Farhat Din
Modulation of mTOR signalling by aspirin/salicylate as a mechanism of colorectal cancer chemoprevention
Funding period: 01 February 2010 to 31 January 2014
Effect of aspirin and NSAIDs on risk and survival from colorectal cancer
Ten Common Genetic Variants Associated with Colorectal Cancer Risk Are Not Associated with Survival after Diagnosis
Clin Cancer Res.2010;16 :3754-3759