Despite being around for years and crippling the societies, cancer has always been a problem for humans – middle of all this, Scientists at IIT Madras have found how the very common NSAID – Aspirin can possibly kill the cancerous cells.

Cancer is fatal disease and it is curable but only if detected in early stages. In India 14.5 lakh people live with cancer and every year more than 7 lakh new cases are registered. Sadly, around 5.5 lakh people die of cancer each year. Despite being curable in early stages, only four of ten patients receive any kind of treatment due to unavailability or cost.

It is known since long that low-dose low-cost Aspirin can destroy cancerous cells and reduce the risk of death from cancer but nobody knew how. Researchers at IIT Madras have found out the method by which the Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Aspirin can destroy the cancer cells. As per the study published by IIT researchers in Scientific Reports journal, Aspirin targeted the malignant cells which are high in protein called voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC).

According to the IIT professor Amal Kanti Bera, aspirin induces high levels of calcium on the mitochondria of cancer cells. Mitochondria is like the energy house of cancerous cells and high level of calcium prevents mitochondria from breaking down food into energy hence cutting out the energy sources for the cancerous cells and also release of toxic substances which is just like taking away food and restricting oxygen supply. This eventually kills the cancerous cells.

This study will help in development of stronger anti-cancer drugs. It was actually found three years ago that low-doses of aspirin can reduce risks of cardiac diseases and could possibly help combating against cancer. If the low-cost drugs like aspirin can help combat against cancer, many lives can be saved and with this study results, we know there is light at the end of the dark tunnel now.