Monday June 18, 2018

Arthritis drug could be a possibility to cure skin cancer

Only five per cent of skin cancer cases involve melanoma, it causes the majority of deaths from the disease. If caught early, melanoma is very treatable or the treatment becomes more difficult.

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Scientists have found a way of detecting cancer through blood tests. IANS
Scientists have found a way of detecting cancer through blood tests. IANS
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London, Dec 20, 2017: Combining the treatment for the most deadly form of skin cancer with a common anti-rheumatic drug could provide more effective results, new research has shown.

The findings showed that using “leflunomide” — an immunosuppressive drug approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis — in combination with another melanoma drug, selumetinib almost completely stopped the growth of a melanoma tumour in mice.

“By combining therapies, it’s possible to attack the disease from several angles, which makes it harder for the melanoma to develop resistance to any of the drugs,” said Grant Wheeler from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK.

“Our research has shown that there could also be further benefits – by joining these two drugs together you may be able to enhance their effects, getting a treatment that is more than the sum of its parts,” Wheeler said.

Although only five per cent of skin cancer cases involve melanoma, it causes the majority of deaths from the disease. If caught early, melanoma is very treatable, but once the cancer has metastasised or spread, then treatment becomes more difficult.

The research, published in the journal Oncotarget, tested leflunomide’s effect against melanoma with selumetinib.

When the team tested leflunomide in the lab, it was found to work on melanoma cells irrespective of the genetic signature of the cancer.

This means that leflunomide has the potential to be used in all melanoma cases, not just for tumours harbouring BRAF mutations, the researchers said.

However, when leflunomide was tested on melanoma cells jointly with selumetinib, the scientists found it was more effective than either drug on its own.

In mice, the two drugs together almost completely halted the growth of the tumour over a 12 day period, which far outstripped the effect of either drug used in isolation, the researchers said. (IANS)

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Obesity And Smoking Becomes Roadblocks In Arthritis Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease

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Obesity And Smoking Becomes Roadblocks In Arthritis Treatment
Obesity And Smoking Becomes Roadblocks In Arthritis Treatment, Pixabay

Obesity in women and smoking among men could be major factors behind not achieving remission in rheumatoid arthritis, despite early treatment, researchers say.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects a person’s joints, causing pain and disability and can also affect internal organs.

The study showed that though early identification and aggressive treatment improve arthritis outcomes, six per cent of women and 38 per cent of men did not achieve remission in the first year despite receiving guideline-based care.

“Our results suggest that lifestyle changes — smoking cessation in men and weight reduction in women — as well as optimising methotrexate use may facilitate rapid reduction of inflammation, an essential goal of treatment in early rheumatoid arthritis,” said Susan Bartlett, professor of Medicine at McGill University in Canada.

The study, published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, included 1,628 adults with an average age of 55.

The analysis highlighted that obesity more than doubled the likelihood of not achieving remission in women.

obesity
obesity, Pixabay

In men, current smoking was associated with 3.5 greater odds of not achieving remission within the first year.

Further, almost all patients within the study were initially treated with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs), with three quarters being treated with methotrexate.

Analysis demonstrated that not using methotrexate significantly increased the likelihood of not achieving remission in women by 28 per cent and in men by 45 per cent.

Also read: drug free compound can ease arthritis pain

“These results highlight the need to support physicians and empower patients to take advantage of the impact lifestyle changes can have on disease progression,” Johannes Bijlsma, President, European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), said in a statement. (IANS)

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