ISLAMABAD: A new study provides further evidence of the anticancer properties of aspirin, after finding the drug may be effective for reducing the development of bile duct cancer.

To reach their findings, co-lead author Dr. Jonggi Choi and colleagues, from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, MN, assessed the aspirin use of 2,395 individuals with bile duct cancer who visited the Mayo Clinic between 2000-2014.

While the researchers are unable to explain exactly how aspirin may protect against bile duct cancer, they suggest it may be down the anti-inflammatory properties of the drug.

"Chronic persistent inflammation is one of the key elements that promotes cancer of the bile ducts, and well-known risk factors for bile duct cancer have all been shown to increase the risk for bile duct cancer by inducing chronic inflammation of the ducts," explains Dr. Choi.

"Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory agent and may reduce the risk of bile duct cancer by reducing inflammation through inhibition of the cyclooxygenase enzyme," he adds. "Previous studies have shown that aspirin also blocks additional biological pathways that promote cancer development."

The researchers believe their findings suggest aspirin use could be a viable strategy to lower the risk of bile duct cancer.

Co-lead study author Dr Roongruedee Chaiteerakij said that "Until now, there has been little evidence of a potential role for aspirin in the prevention of bile duct cancer. Our study provides the first evidence for this."