In a study published in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, Ulrich and her collaborators used a new technique, metabolite profiling, to identify a biochemical pathway previously unknown to be regulated by aspirin. Specifically, the researchers found that aspirin substantially decreases the level of a chemical called 2-hydroxyglutarate in the blood of healthy volunteers and in two colorectal cancer cell lines. This chemical, 2-hydroxyglutarate, is considered a driver of cancer development (known as an oncometabolite) because elevated levels have been found in certain cancers of the blood and brain and several groups are currently studying it as a molecule that promotes tumor formation.
Ulrich says the study adds to the overall evidence that aspirin is important for cancer prevention and points to a new pathway that deserves further study in the context of aspirin. "It is really exciting that aspirin, which can work in colorectal cancer prevention, is now linked to a new pathway that has shown to be relevant for cancer formation."
The first part of the study involved looking comprehensively at the metabolic profiles from the blood of 40 individuals who had taken aspirin for 60 days. The design was rigorous, with participants each having a phase with and without aspirin. More than 360 metabolites, or small molecule chemicals such as sugars, amino acids, and vitamins, were analyzed, says Ulrich. "This study covered most of the known biochemical pathways in the body."
Ref : http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2015/11/17/1055-9965.EPI-15-0697.abstract?sid=c6453fd8-4a41-4a96-93c4-750c662bace3