The possibility that a common over the counter drug can stop or slow down the growth of an acoustic neuroma is very promising.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, and your doctor has recommended “watchful waiting” rather than surgery or radiation, there’s a drug you should ask him about.
It is aspirin.
“There is some preliminary evidence showing that aspirin usage is associated with a decreased growth rate for acoustic neuromas,” says Ted McRackan, MD, MSCR, Director, Skull Base Center; Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina.
“However, the evidence is far from concrete and additional studies are being done to further evaluate this question.”
These studies on the same course as the one that’s reported from 2014 in Otology & Neurotology.
This study says that for the first time, use of aspirin has been found to correlate with halted growth of this very rare auditory tumor.
The research comes from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Common Drug Seems to Slow Growth of Acoustic Neuroma
• Over 600 people with acoustic neuroma were analyzed for the study.
• There currently is no drug that is marketed as a deactivator to this tumor’s growth.
• But aspirin was shown to be promising in this study.
• The subjects, who took aspirin, were followed with multiple MRIs.
• A correlation was found between the subjects who took aspirin and the rate of growth.
The study shows that there is a “potential therapeutic role” of this drug in slowing down the growth of an acoustic neuroma, says Konstantina Stankovic, MD, in the report, leader of the study and an otologic surgeon.
The study did not look into whether or not a daily aspirin can actually prevent the initial development of an acoustic neuroma.
Daily aspirin use comes with the risk of internal bleeding. Do not proceed with daily intake of aspirin without first consulting with your medical team.
That all said, this study is very good news for those who have been diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, as the “headache drug” is very well-tolerated by most people.
A Subsequent Study
A study published in 2019 shows that aspirin had no effect on an acoustic neuroma’s growth. It’s advised that patients keep current on the latest studies.
An acoustic neuroma is benign (cannot spread).
In addition to acoustic neuroma, Dr. McRackan’s clinical practice focuses on comprehensive management of ear, hearing, balance and skull base disorders. Areas of interest include cochlear implants, facial nerve disorders and tumors, vertigo and endoscopic ear surgery.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.