Recent Press Releases

Contact Us Today!

617-523-7900

or Use Our Simple Online Form to Give Us Feedback

We welcome your comments and feedback. Please include contact information if you'd like a response.

Did you find this page helpful?





If you would like a response, please include your contact information.

Aspirin Intake May Halt Growth of Vestibular Schwannomas/Acoustic Neuromas

Findings published in February issue of Otology & Neurotology

Contact: Mary Leach
(617) 573-4170

BOSTON (Jan. 24, 2014) -- Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital have demonstrated, for the first time, that aspirin intake correlates with halted growth of vestibular schwannomas (also known as acoustic neuromas), a sometimes lethal intracranial tumor that typically causes hearing loss and tinnitus.

Dr. Tina Stankovic
Konstantina Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D.

Motivated by experiments in the Molecular Neurotology Laboratory at Mass. Eye and Ear involving human tumor specimens, the researchers performed a retrospective analysis of over 600 people diagnosed with vestibular schwannoma at Mass. Eye and Ear. Their research suggests the potential therapeutic role of aspirin in inhibiting tumor growth and motivates a clinical prospective study to assess efficacy of this well-tolerated anti-inflammatory medication in preventing growth of these intracranial tumors.

“Currently, there are no FDA-approved drug therapies to treat these tumors, which are the most common tumors of the cerebellopontine angle and the fourth most common intracranial tumors,” explains Konstantina Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D., who led the study. “Current options for management of growing vestibular schwannomas include surgery (via craniotomy) or radiation therapy, both of which are associated with potentially serious complications.”

The findings, which are described in the February issue of the journal Otology & Neurotology, were based on a retrospective series of 689 people, 347 of whom were followed with multiple magnetic resonance imaging MRI  scans (50.3%). The main outcome measures were patient use of aspirin and rate of vestibular schwannoma growth measured by changes in the largest tumor dimension as noted on serial MRIs. A significant inverse association was found among aspirin users and vestibular schwannoma growth (odds ratio: 0.50, 95 percent confidence interval: 0.29-0.85), which was not confounded by age or gender.

“Our results suggest a potential therapeutic role of aspirin in inhibiting vestibular schwannoma growth,” said Dr. Stankovic, who is an otologic surgeon and researcher at Mass. Eye and Ear, Assistant Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School (HMS), and member of the faculty of Harvard’s Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology.

This work was funded by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders grants T32 DC00038, K08DC010419 and by the Bertarelli Foundation.  A full list of authors is available in the paper.