Ibuprofen to be used in cancer treatment?

27th May 2011

The painkiller ibuprofen could become a part of cancer treatment after a study found that it stifles cancer growth.

A team of Cancer Research UK scientists based at the University of Bath found that a class of common painkillers, which includes ibuprofen, could interact with a protein which fuels cancer growth.

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are all processed by the body through the protein AMACR, which is overactive in prostate, bowel and various others types of cancer.

Lead author Dr Matthew Lloyd, said: "Some early laboratory studies have suggested that high doses of ibuprofen can halt the growth of prostate cancer cells, but the reasons for this aren't well understood."

He added that understanding more about how this protein acts and what molecules it interacts with could provide vital clues about future treatments for prostate cancer.

According to figures from Cancer Research UK, prostate cancer affects over 37,000 men in the UK. Around a quarter of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in men are prostate cancers.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

1 - Woodman et al, Chiral inversion of 2-arylpropional-CoA esters by human alpha-methyylacyl-CoA racemase 1A (P504S) - a potential mechanism for the anti-cancer effects of ibuprofen (2011), Chemical Communications.

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