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We are just in the second month of 2018 and already the medical industry has made breakthroughs in three sensational studies that include a rethink on administration of ibuprofen and startling discoveries in breast cancer

Ibuprofen linked to infertility right from pre-natal stage

Ibuprofen a common NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) sold under popular brand names Advil or Motrin and frequently advised for aches, fever and inflammation were found by a recent study published in January 2018 in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences US, to negatively impact men’s testicles. The drug which is a common sports medication is said to cause hormonal problems in men leading to infertility.

The study has revealed that using over the counter Ibuprofen can repress endocrine cells in the male testis which in turn results in a condition of compensated hypogonadism, a condition associated with negative reproductive Health disorders.

The study which is an extended research of the effects of such drugs in pregnancy also found that when pregnant women took any of the three analgesics aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen, it affected the testis of male babies in the womb. Mild analgesics also resulted in antiandrogenic effects (testosterone blockers) and congenital disorders. The main condition of compensated hypogonadism was a condition where the ratio of testosterone and Luteinizing Hormone decreased. The study concluded with the established fact that ibuprofen impacted the testis in several negative ways causing hormonal disruptions which could ultimately lead to male infertility or increase the risk.

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Single cancer vaccine that wipes out tumours ready for human trial

This is one huge leap of progress in the battle against cancer. A compound has been developed by researchers at Stanford University which if injected into a cancerous tumour could destroy a tumour as well as other cancerous masses existing in the body. Simply said it could kill all cancerous tumours in the human body. The research was also published in the Science Translational Medicine, January 2018.

The compound made up of two agents was tested on mice where it stimulated the immune system that triggered a bodily reaction killing all cancer cells that even existed further from the injected point. The biggest milestone in the study is the advent of human clinical trials scheduled to start soon with 15 patients suffering from lymphoma selected for the first round.

The truth about the amino acid asparagine and how it is linked to cancer

In February this month, the Internet was abuzz with articles claiming how asparagine a compound found in asparagus was linked to the spread of cancer in the body.

The study in fact which appeared in the Journal Nature in February showed how the presence of asparagines’ availability in mice influences metastasis of breast cancer. Furthermore, it also found that a drug used in chemotherapy of leukaemia called L-asparaginase could slow down the spread of breast cancer by blocking the production of the amino acid asparagine. It also stopped cancer spreading to various parts of the body.

According to Greg Hannon, a researcher from Cambridge, the study observed less impact on the main cancer tumour when asparagine was reduced in the body, but it inhibited the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

What scientists have to say about it

Researchers urge people not to panic and start cutting down vital foods from their diet simply because asparagine isn’t only found in asparagus; it is found in almost all food items like poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish. Even our bodies make asparagine just like other amino acids that produce proteins. It is the enzyme asparagine synthetase that helps form asparagine.

According to Dr Alex Berezow, a senior fellow of Biomedical science, if the enzyme shows increased activity, that is when breast cancer is liable to spread. Rather than cutting down foods from our diet which isn’t a practical solution, the medical fraternity will have to formulate ways and means to reduce blood levels of asparagine and to block the enzyme in breast cancer tumours. When this was done in mice, the spread of cancer reduced. This indeed was a path-breaking observation that could lead to new medical treatment and a better understanding of the metastasis of breast cancer.