New study shows that while regular use of aspirin reduces ageing of cancer genes, smoking can accelerate them. Scientists had discovered in the 1990s that regular use of aspirin over long periods of time decreases the risk of developing colorectal cancer by an average of 40 percent, but it is unknown how exactly the drug influences the cancer risk.
According to a research led by Prof. Primo Schar, from the University of Basel and PD Dr. Kaspar Truninger, aspirin decreased the risk of cancer by slowing down certain aging processes of the genome, namely modifications that also play an important role in the development of tumors. In order to analyze the relationships between lifestyle and genome aging, the researchers examined intestinal tissue samples of 546 healthy women over 50 years of age.
They compared agespecific changes of gene markers, so-called DNA methylations, with their lifestyle factors regarding aspirin use, smoking, body mass index and hormonal replacement therapy. The most significant effects were measured for aspirin use and smoking.
Schar said that each cell’s genome was like a library full of bookmarks, and the cells know which genes to read with help of these bookmarks, so that they can fulfill their specialized tasks as skin, muscle or intestinal cells. First author of the study Dr. Faiza Noreen, added