Aspirin suppresses breast cancer metastasis to lung by targeting anoikis resistance

Carcinogenesis. 2022 Mar 24;43(2):104-114. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgab117.


Clinical evidence recently suggests that the regular use of aspirin is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer metastasis, but mechanisms remain unclear. Resistance to anoikis has been implicated in malignant transformation and metastasis. Here, we investigated whether aspirin might prevent breast cancer metastasis to lung by targeting anoikis resistance. Aspirin sensitized breast cancer cells to anoikis in vitro and lowered the circulating tumor cells as well as distant metastasis in vivo. Mechanistically, thromboxane A2 (TXA2) pathway was identified as the relevant molecular target for aspirin in anoikis sensitization. Upon detachment, both thromboxane A2 receptor (TP) and thromboxane A2 synthase 1 (TBXAS1) were up-regulated in metastatic breast cancer cells, conferred anoikis resistance through persistent activation of Akt, thereby facilitated breast cancer metastasis to lung. Consistently, either knockdown of TP in cancer cells or genetic deletion of TP in mice protected against lung metastasis in vivo. Collectively, TXA2 pathway plays a critical role in anoikis resistance and might serve as potential target for chemoprevention of breast cancer metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anoikis / genetics
  • Aspirin / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms* / prevention & control
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Thromboxane A2


  • Thromboxane A2
  • Aspirin