Cancer

Updated 09 September 2014

Aspirin could slow noncancerous brain tumours

Aspirin might slow the growth of a noncancerous type of brain tumour that can lead to hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and even death.

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Aspirin might slow the growth of a noncancerous type of brain tumour that can lead to hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and even death, according to new research.

For the study, which was published in the journal Otology and Neurotology, researchers examined data from nearly 700 people who were diagnosed with vestibular schwannomas (also called acoustic neuromas). There is no approved medication to treat these tumours, which grow on the nerves that connect the brain to the ears, the researchers said.

Current treatment options include surgery or radiation therapy, both of which can cause serious complications, the researchers said.

Slowing down tumour growth

Their analysis revealed that the rate of tumour growth was slower in patients who took aspirin than in those who didn't take the drug. Age and gender did not affect the findings.

"Our results suggest a potential therapeutic role of aspirin in inhibiting vestibular schwannoma growth," study leader Dr Konstantina Stankovic, an otologic surgeon and researcher at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, said in an infirmary news release.

Stankovic also is an assistant professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School, and a faculty member of Harvard's program in speech and hearing bioscience and technology.

The study was funded in part by the US National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Read more:

Why aspirin is tied to smaller tumours

Scientists investigate how aspirin may fight cancer

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