Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New drug protects against side effects of chemotherapy

 A drug developed at Linköping University in Sweden protects against the side effects of cancer treatments while strengthening the effects on the tumour. An international drug evaluation is now starting up on a larger group of patients. 

The results of the studies with the compound, known as calmangafodipir  [Ca4Mn(DPDP)5], were published in the latest issue of the cancer journal Translational Oncology with Professor Rolf G. G. Andersson as the main author.

The research was initiated on a substance called mangafodipir MnDPDP (see structure below), which was used as a contrast media in magnetic resonance scans. But pharmacologists at LiU discovered that it also protected healthy cells in connection with cancer treatments.

"We found that the substance could affect the formation of oxygen radicals, which are a cause of side effects in chemotherapy," says Professor Andersson.

For example, the number of white blood cells decreases drastically in almost all the patients, which opens the door to infections that could even be fatal.

The researchers began with cell tests, and then went on to mice infected with cancer cells. The mice were treated with chemotherapy and were administered mangafodipir at the same time. Tumour formation decreased while white blood cells were protected.

One problem was that a large portion of the manganese in the substance was released; as a consequence, the positive effect subsided. The free manganese can also be poisonous and cause brain damage. More at the ffollowing link...


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