A drug used to treat the common cold could be used to stop the spread of bladder cancer, a study has found.
Researchers in Japan found that a nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drug supressed the spread of the cancer in mice and also reduced its resistance to chemotherapy.
The results raise hopes of a cure for a disease that killed more than 5,000 people in the UK alone in 2014.
Bladder cancer can be split into two types; non-muscle invasive cancers, which have a 90 per cent, five-year survival rate, and muscle invasive cancers, which at stage 4 have a 10 per cent, five-year survival rate.
The latter types are usually treated with common cancer drugs like cisplatin, but the disease tends to become resistant over time and spread to other organs.
But in tests at Hokkaido University, human bladder cancer cells were labelled with an enzyme that gives off light, allowing scientists to track the response of the cells to treatment. These cells were then injected into mice.
Once in the rodents, the cells began to multiply and after 45 days metastatic tumours were found in the liver, lungs and bone.
13 ways to help prevent cancer
13 ways to help prevent cancer
Stopping smoking. This notoriously difficult habit to break sees tar build-up in the lungs and DNA alteration and causes 15,558 cancer deaths a year
Avoiding the sun, and the melanoma that comes with overexposure to harmful UV rays, could help conscientious shade-lovers dodge being one of the 7,220 people who die from it
A diet that is low in red meat can help to prevent bowel cancer, according to the research - with 30 grams a day recommended for men, and 25 a day recommended for women
Foods high in fibre, meanwhile, can further make for healthier bowels. Processed foods in developed countries appear to be causing higher rates of colon cancer than diets in continents such as Africa, which have high bean and pulse intakes
Two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day were given as the magic number for good diet in the research. Overall, diet causes only slightly fewer cancer deaths than sun exposure in Australia, at 7,000 a year
Obesity and being overweight, linked to poor diet and lack of exercise, causes 3,917 deaths by cancer a year on its own
Dying of a cancer caused by infection also comes in highly, linked to 3,421 cancer deaths a year. Infections such as human papilloma virus - which can cause cervical cancer in women - and hepatitis - can be prevented by vaccinations and having regular check-ups
Cutting back on drinks could reduce the risk of cancers caused by alcohol - such as liver cancer, bowel cancer, breast cancer and mouth cancer - that are leading to 3,208 deaths a year
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Sitting around and not getting the heart pumping - less than one hour's exercise a day - is directly leading to about 1,800 people having lower immune functions and higher hormone levels, among other factors, that cause cancers
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Hormone replacement therapy, which is used to relieve symptoms of the menopause in women, caused 539 deaths from (mainly breast) cancer in Australia last year. It did, however, prevent 52 cases of colorectal cancers
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Insufficient breastfeeding, bizarrely, makes the top 10. Breastfeeding for 12 months could prevent 235 cancer cases a year, said the research
Oral contraceptives, like the Pill, caused about 105 breast cancers and 52 cervical cancers - but it also prevented about 1,440 ovarian and uterine (womb) cases of cancer last year
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Taking aspirin also prevented 232 cases in the Queensland research of colorectal and oesophagal cancers - but as it can also cause strokes, is not yet recommended as a formal treatment against the risk of cancer
Researchers discovered that injecting flufenamic acid, a drug sometimes used to treat colds, supressed the cancer cells’ invasive tendencies and made the chemotherapy drugs effective again.
"This latest research could pave the way for medical institutions to use flufenamic acid - a much cheaper cold drug - which has unexpectedly been proven to be effective at fighting cancers," said Dr Shinya Tanaka.
Bladder cancer is the ninth most deadly cancer in Europe. There were around 165,100 deaths from the disease worldwide in 2012.Reuse content