Recent studies have shown that taking some unexpected drugs can increase the likelihood of a person surviving a battle with cancer. Indeed, some of the world’s oldest and most widely used drugs might contain the much needed secrets to surviving the deadly disease.
According to a paper that was published in the British Journal of Cancer, a clinical trial showed that patients taking regular aspirin were more likely to survive chemotherapy treatments than patients that did not take the drug.
Another drug, glyceryl trinitrate, commonly known as nitroglycerin might also be able to help a person fight cancer.
Nitroglycerin has medical application dating back to at least 1879, making it about 20 years older than aspirin as a medicine. Most people know nitroglycerin for being a main ingredient of dynamite.
Now, scientists are suspecting that nitroglycerin might be able to help chemotherapy treatments become more effective. Often, chemotherapy is unsuccessful because the cancer cells develop immunities to the treatment. Nitroglycerin can help prevent this.
Nitroglycerin eases muscle cells that surround blood vessels, allowing them to relax and open up. The medicine is often used to treat hypertension, angina and congestive heart failure. It is also used in the recreational drug known as “poppers”. Overall, the medicine is well-known for being safe, cheap and reliable.
In cancer treatments, tumor cells are targeted and killed very quickly in order to prevent the spread of cancer and to stop cancer cells from becoming resistant to the treatment. It is very important that chemotherapy drugs are able to get inside tumors as fast as possible.
By using nitroglycerine, blood travels throughout the body at a quicker rate, allowing cancer-treating medications to make their way to cancer cells more rapidly. Thus, chemotherapy patients taking nitroglycerin can receive better treatment.
With these discoveries, two of the world’s most basic and well-known drugs are being used to help treat one of the most deadly diseases in humans. It just goes to show that even the most standard medications available can do some amazing things.