Aspirin Trialled in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Combo Treatment

Nicky Broyd

August 18, 2021

Aspirin is being trialled with the immunotherapy drug avelumab to treat triple negative breast cancer.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester will conduct trials of avelumab with and without aspirin before surgery and chemotherapy after research in mice showed that pairing an immunotherapy drug with aspirin controlled tumour growth more successfully than immunotherapy drugs alone.

Study lead, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Dr Anne Armstrong, said in a news release: "Not all breast cancers respond well to immunotherapy. Our earlier research has suggested that aspirin can make certain types of immunotherapy more effective by preventing the cancer from making substances that weaken the immune response. Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin could hold the key to increasing the effectiveness of immunotherapy when used at the same time.

"Trialling the use of a drug like aspirin is exciting because it is so widely available and inexpensive to produce. We hope our trial will show that, when combined with immunotherapy, aspirin can enhance its effects and may ultimately provide a safe new way to treat breast cancer."

Catalyst Programme 

The trial is part of the Breast Cancer Now Catalyst Programme that's designed to accelerate research, innovation, and collaboration. It has received support from Pfizer.

The charity's Director of Research, Support and Influencing, Dr Simon Vincent, said: "The 8000 women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in the UK each year face the frightening reality of limited treatment options – we urgently need to address this.  

"Research has already suggested aspirin could improve outcomes for many cancer patients and we hope that Dr Armstrong’s trial will show the same to be true for patients with triple negative breast cancer, so that we can prevent more lives being lost to this devastating disease." 


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