Multiple sclerosis drug could hold promise as mesothelioma treatment

28 Mar 2017 by under Research/Treatment

Gilenya 05 mg Hartkapselen Fingolimod 100x100 Multiple sclerosis drug could hold promise as mesothelioma treatmentStandard first-line for mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, is chemotherapy that generally only extends patients’ lives by 11 weeks.

Because treatment options for malignant mesothelioma are few, researchers are now looking at more innovative, novel approaches to treat the disease. For example, a multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment has recently found promise as a potential malignant mesothelioma (MM) treatment, according to Mesothelioma Research News. When used in mice, it was found to reduce tumor size with no apparent side effects.

Drug repurposing, which involves finding new uses for existing drugs that are outside the scope of their original indication, is a strategy that drastically reduces time and costs to bring a new drug to the market,” The University of Cancer Center research team wrote.

The MS treatment, Fingolimod (FTY270), is an immunosuppressant that has shown promise in treating a variety of cancers, though it is not yet approved for that purpose, and this recent study is the first time it has been tested on malignant mesothelioma.

The research team examined Fingolimod’s effects on cultures of mesothelioma cells and human mesothelioma cells. They determined it works by reactivating a tumor suppressing protein that is normally stunted in malignant mesothelioma cells, as well as triggering molecular mechanisms that lead to cell death.

“Our data represent a proof of principle for the efficacy of FTY720 in MM therapy, with no apparent toxicity in our mouse model,” the researchers wrote. “FTY720 and its second-generation derivatives potentially fit the criteria for drug repurposing and can be promising anticancer agents for the treatment of (malignant mesothelioma), most likely in combination with existing or novel therapies.”

 

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