In a recent op-ed to the The New York Times, authored by Drs. Michelle Holmes and Wendy Chen, both from Harvard Medical School, criticized the pharmaceutical industry for ignoring aspirin's ability to reduce risk for death from breast cancer. They cited results from a 2010 observational study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which showed that women with breast cancer who took aspirin once a week were 50% less likely to die from the disease. Because pharmaceutical companies funnel funding for clinical trials into new, blockbuster drugs and do not stand to benefit from aspirin, however, few women stand to benefit from these findings, according to Holmes and Chen. In this story, appearing in Forbes, one contributor fires back by pointing out that there is more to the picture than the pharmaceutical industry's desire to benefit. He states that there are other avenues for exploring aspirin's role in breast cancer, such as NIH funding, and that the issue is actually more complicated and multifaceted than Holmes and Chen suggest.
“We believe that it might be possible to treat breast cancer – the leading cause of female cancer death – with a drug that can already be found in nearly every medicine cabinet in the world: Aspirin.” So starts a recent op-ed to the New York Times written by physicians/faculty members at Harvard Medical School, Drs.