Dr Marlies Reimers presented data at a press confernece during the 2013 European Cancer Confernece in Amsterdam about how aspirin improves survival in patients diagnosed with colon cancer.
Although previous research has shown that taking low dose aspirin after being diagnosed with colon cancer improves patient outcome, the reasons why this happens remain unknown.
The new research has shown that aspirin improves outcome in patients whose tumour cells express a specific protein on their surface; the protein is known as Human Leukocyte Antigen class I (HLA class I), a cell-surface protein produced by a collection of genes involved in the functioning of the immune system.
The results mean that HLA class I could be used in the future to predict whether or not a patient would benefit from aspirin.
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