Friday March 22, 2019

Effective Treatment to Protect Cancer Patients From Blood Clots

Taking oral drugs daily can be an effective treatment for nearly 10 million cancer patients worldwide suffering from a deadly blood clot condition, results from a clinical trial have showed.

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Blood cells, pixabay

Taking oral drugs daily can be an effective treatment for nearly 10 million cancer patients worldwide suffering from a deadly blood clot condition, results from a clinical trial have shown.

People with cancer have an increased risk of developing blood clots, with roughly one in five experiencing venous thromboembolism (VTE) — either a blood clot in a deep vein or a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot.

The results from the clinical trial called “select-d” suggested that prescribing the oral drug rivaroxaban significantly reduced VTE recurrence among patients with cancer.

“Clinicians were already adopting the oral drug into practice for non-cancer patients and now they have data from this study to indicate that this form of treatment is an alternative option for many cancer patients who have a clot,” said lead author Annie Young, Professor at the University of Warwick in Britain.

Although there are many causes and risk factors for VTE, cancer patients are particularly at risk due to a combination of factors such as immobility, pancreatic and gastric tumours as well as chemotherapy, the researcher said.

The reason for increased bleeding is not known. It may be because rivaroxaban is more 'potent', the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said. (IANS)
Representational image, pixabay

For the “select-d” trial, researchers enrolled 406 patients who had cancer and VTE; most (69 per cent) were receiving cancer treatment (typically chemotherapy) at the time of their VTE.

Half were randomly assigned to receive low-molecular-weight heparin (dalteparin) and half were given the oral drug rivaroxaban. After six months of treatment, the VTE recurrence rate was four per cent among those taking the tablet and 11 per cent in those receiving dalteparin.

The results for secondary outcomes were mixed, the researcher said.

In patients receiving rivaroxaban, there were around the same percentage of major bleeding events (6 per cent) as those receiving dalteparin (4 per cent) but a marked and significant increase in clinically relevant non-major bleeds (13 per cent) with rivaroxaban compared to those having low molecular weight heparin (4 per cent).

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The reason for increased bleeding is not known. It may be because rivaroxaban is more ‘potent’, the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said. (IANS)

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Researchers Discover Balance of Two Enzymes That May Help Treat Pancreatic Cancer

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

A new research has set the stage for clinicians to potentially use levels of a pancreatic cancer patient’s PHLPP1 and PKC enzymes as a prognostic and for researchers to develop new therapeutic drugs that change the balance of the two enzymes as a means to treat the disease.

The study, published on Wednesday in Molecular Cell, was led by Alexandra Newton, professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Timothy Baffi, a graduate student in her lab, Xinhua news agency reported.

The new study built on the team’s work in 2015 that found the enzyme PKC, which was believed in previous studies to promote tumour growth, actually suppressed it.

The latest study took the investigation a step further by uncovering how cells regulate PKC activity and discovered that any time an over-active PKC is inadvertently produced, the PHLPP1 “proofreader” tags it for destruction.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

“That means the amount of PHLPP1 in your cells determines your amount of PKC,” Newton said. “And it turns out those enzyme levels are especially important in pancreatic cancer.”

The team observed 105 pancreatic cancer tumours to analyze the enzyme levels in each one. About 50 per cent of patients with low PHLPP1/high PKC lived longer than five-and-a-half years.

Also Read- A Brain Circuit Can Help Reverse Craving for Liquor, Says Study

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment.

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland in the digestive system. It typically doesn’t show symptoms in the early stages. Sufferers tend to develop signs, such as back pain and jaundice, when it has spread to other organs. (IANS)