Cancer treatment could be more effective when combined with aspirin, according to research released by the Francis Crick Institute in London.

The findings of the study reveal that aspirin can suppress the cancer molecule that allows tumours to avoid the body’s immune defences.

Skin, breast and bowel cancer cells often produce large amounts of a molecule called prostaglandin that allows the cells to evade the immune system. If cancer cells’ ability to produce prostaglandin is taken away then the immune system is free to start fighting against the disease. The research found that by combining aspirin with immunotherapy it blocked the production of this molecule and slowed the growth of bowel and malignant skin cancer in mice.

While scientists have greeted the findings with caution, stating that further tests need to be carried out, it has been described as having potentially ‘life-changing results for patients’.”

Michael Burrell, a senior clinical negligence solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Birmingham office, said: “This research was initially carried out on mice which means there is a long way to go before this technique is used in patients, but the findings offer hope of a cost-effective way to improve the response to immunotherapy treatment in a range of cancers.

“We are hearing of potential new ways of treating cancer on almost a daily basis which is hugely exciting, but earlier diagnosis of cancer remains one of the primary areas that we must strive to improve upon. Ensuring that staff and cancer diagnostic services are properly resourced and funded is of paramount importance, along with continued investment in research into new treatments, if patients are to be given the best opportunity to beat the disease.”