Using multiple sclerosis drug to treat pancreatic cancer

An FDA-approved drug currently used for treating multiple sclerosis has been found to be effective for pancreatic cancer. Researchers from Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), Thiruvananthapuram, in collaboration with Regional Cancer Centre in the city and NIMHANS, Bengaluru, found that the drug was also able to increase the efficacy of gemcitabine, the current standard drug for pancreatic cancer. The results of the study have been recently published in Theranostics.

The drug used to treat multiple sclerosis was found to act through a receptor called S1PR1 that is involved in lipid signalling and which regulates numerous cellular events such as cell growth, migration and vascular integrity.

“The precise role of the receptor in pancreatic cancer is still not clear and our study has brought out its importance. We found that the [multiple] sclerosis drug can bind to the receptor and alter the key cellular events and prevent the progression of pancreatic cancer,” explains Dr. K.B. Harikumar, from the Cancer Research Program at RGCB and corresponding author of the paper. The sclerosis drug was also found to be a potent inhibitor of NF-kappaB, a transcription factor that helps in tumour progression.

The effectiveness of the multiple sclerosis drug when used together with the current pancreatic cancer drug was checked in mice models. The combination drug treatment was able to control various signalling molecules, thereby decreasing cancer cell proliferation and increasing apoptosis.....Read more


Source web page: The hindu

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