Friday December 6, 2019

Combination of Drugs for Diabetes and Hypertension may offer an effective new way to combat Cancer

the researchers found that the combination of the diabetes drug metformin and the antihypertensive drug syrosingopine drives cancer cells to programmed "suicide".

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Suicide for cancer cells via a combination drug
A combination drug of diabeties and hypertension to cure cancer,pixabay

London, December 28, 2016: A combination of drugs for diabetes and hypertension may offer an effective new way to combat cancer, suggests a new research.

In their experiments, the researchers found that the combination of the diabetes drug metformin and the antihypertensive drug syrosingopine drives cancer cells to programmed “suicide”.

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 “We have been able to show that the two known drugs lead to more profound effects on cancer cell proliferation than each drug alone,” said study first author Don Benjamin from the University of Basel in Switzerland.

“The data from this study support the development of combination approaches for the treatment of cancer patients,” Benjamin noted.

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Metformin is a widely prescribed drug for the treatment of Type-2 diabetes.

Besides its blood sugar lowering effect, it also displays anti-cancer properties. The usual therapeutic dose, however, is too low to effectively fight cancer.

At higher doses, the antidiabetic drug inhibits the growth of cancer cells but could also induce unwanted side effects.

The new research published in the journal Science Advances showed that the antihypertensive drug syrosingopine enhances the anti-cancer efficacy of metformin.

The study showed the cocktail of these two drugs is effective in a wide range of cancers.

“For example, in samples from leukemia patients, we demonstrated that almost all tumour cells were killed by this cocktail and at doses that are actually not toxic to normal cells”, Benjamin said.

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“And the effect was exclusively confined to cancer cells, as the blood cells from healthy donors were insensitive to the treatment,” Benjamin noted.

In mice with malignant liver cancer, enlargement of the liver was reduced after the therapy. Also the number of tumor nodules was less — in some animals the tumours disappeared completely.

The researchers found that the drugs interrupt the vital processes which provide energy for the cancer cell. (IANS)

  • Ruth

    I don’t like drink cocktail.

Next Story

Research Finds That Drug Can Curb Dementia’s Delusions

About 8 million Americans have dementia, and studies suggest that up to 30% of them develop psychosis.

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Television actor Barbara Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell talks about Drugs
Television actor Barbara Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell pose with a placard in front of Downing Street ahead of a meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London, Britain. VOA

A drug that curbs delusions in Parkinson’s patients did the same for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in a study that was stopped early because the benefit seemed clear.

If regulators agree, the drug could become the first treatment specifically for dementia-related psychosis and the first new medicine for Alzheimer’s in nearly two decades. It targets some of the most troubling symptoms that patients and caregivers face — hallucinations that often lead to anxiety, aggression, and physical and verbal abuse.

Results were disclosed Wednesday at a conference in San Diego.

Unmet need for treatment

“This would be a very important advance,” said one independent expert, Dr. Howard Fillit, chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.

Although the field is focused on finding a cure for dementia and preventing future cases, “there is a huge unmet need for better treatment” for those who have it now, said Maria Carrillo, the Alzheimer’s Association’s chief science officer.

The drug is pimavanserin, a daily pill sold as Nuplazid by Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. It was approved for Parkinson’s-related psychosis in 2016 and is thought to work by blocking a brain chemical that seems to spur delusions.

Dementia Drugs
Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities. Pixabay

About 8 million Americans have dementia, and studies suggest that up to 30% of them develop psychosis.

“It’s terrifying,” said Dr. Jeffrey Cummings of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. “You believe that people might be trying to hurt you. You believe that people are stealing from you. You believe that your spouse is unfaithful to you. Those are the three most common false beliefs.”

How the study worked

He consults for Acadia and helped lead the study, which included about 400 people with dementia and psychosis. All were given a low dose of the drug for three months, and those who seemed to respond or benefit were then split into two groups. Half continued on the drug and the others were given dummy pills for six months or until they had a relapse or worsening of symptoms. Neither the patients nor their doctors knew who was getting what.

Independent monitors stopped the study when they saw that those on dummy pills were more than twice as likely as those on the drug to relapse or worsen — 28% versus nearly 13%.

There were relatively few serious side effects — 5% in the drug group and 4% in the others. Headaches and urinary tract infections were more common among those on the drug. Two deaths occurred, but study leaders said neither was related to the drug.

The drug could become the first treatment for dementia
The drug could become the first treatment specifically for dementia-related psychosis. Pixabay

Carrillo said the study was small, but the drug’s effect seemed large, and it’s not known whether the federal Food and Drug Administration would want more evidence to approve a new use.

Risk of death

Current anti-psychotic medicines have some major drawbacks and are not approved for dementia patients.

“They’re often used off label because we have very few other options,” Fillit said.

ALSO READ: Researchers Associate Social Media Use to Eating Disorder in Adolescents

All carry warnings that they can raise the risk of death in elderly patients, as does Nuplazid.

Cost could be an issue — about $3,000 a month. What patients pay can vary depending on insurance coverage. (VOA)