A red wine ingredient and Aspirin may deliver a double knock-out blow to abnormal cells that can lead to cancer, new research suggests.
Both help to destroy rogue "tetraploid" cells that cause genetic instability and have been linked to the development of cancer.
In tests mice genetically engineered to have bowel cancer accumulated fewer of the rogue cells in their guts when fed the wine compound and painkiller.
Exposure to the two agents also helped kill off tetraploid cells in human bowel cancer tumour cultures. The wine extract, resveratrol, is derived from red grapes and said to have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
The painkiller aspirin has been shown to protect against some cancers, especially those affecting the intestines and stomach.
"Collectively, our results suggest that the chemopreventive action of resveratrol and Aspirin involves the elimination of tetraploid cancer cell precursors," the research authors led by Dr Guido Kroemer, from the Gustave Roussy Institute in Villejuif, France, wrote.