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Common, But Mighty

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A new study recently published in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters adds another dimension to aspirin, reports The Scientist's Bob Grant. Researchers at the City University of New York Medical School have designed four new forms of aspirin that release nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide, Grant says. And these NOSH-Aspirins have the potential to slow tumor growth in colon, pancreatic, breast, lung, and prostate cancers, and leukemia, the researchers suggest. "Though regular aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have shown promise in curtailing tumor growth by knocking back inflammation, they come with nasty side effects such as the risks of gastrointestinal and brain bleeding and liver toxicity," Grant says. "The NOSH-Aspirins tested, on the other hand, did not seem to damage surrounding cells. Plus, one the new aspirins tested appeared to be more than 100,000 times more effective against cancer than normal aspirin."

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