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Cancer drug shows unexpected fat-melting side effects

Cancer drug shows unexpected f...
Scientists have discovered that a cancer drug can also combat fatty arteries by reducing inflammation and mimicking exercise
Scientists have discovered that a cancer drug can also combat fatty arteries by reducing inflammation and mimicking exercise
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Scientists have discovered that a cancer drug can also combat fatty arteries by reducing inflammation and mimicking exercise
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Scientists have discovered that a cancer drug can also combat fatty arteries by reducing inflammation and mimicking exercise

A drug developed originally to treat breast cancer and diabetes has been found to offer an unexpected and beneficial side effect. Scientists have discovered a single dose of Trodusquemine can completely reverse the effects of atherosclerosis, a disease defined by fatty deposits inside the arteries, raising the prospect of new preventative medicines for heart attacks and strokes.

Atherosclerosis is the accumulation of cholesterol plaque on the artery walls, fatty deposits that harden over time and narrow the arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood through the body and can lead to very serious health problems.

Lifestyle change remains the main treatment for atherosclerosis, but scientists have looked to a number of experimental technologies as a way of treating the inflammation associated with the condition over a shorter time frame. These include avocado compounds and biodegradable nano "drones" that deliver anti-inflammatory drugs and dissolve in the body.

The drug Trodusquemine, which is currently being trialed as a treatment for breast cancer and diabetes, was somewhere they hadn't looked. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen tested the drug on mice with set-in atherosclerosis to simulate the condition in humans, and found that not only did it reduce fatty plaques inside the arteries, a one-off dose seemed to have the same effect as regular doses administered over time.

According to the researchers, the drug works by blocking an enzyme called PTP1B, which is increased in people with obesity, diabetes and conditions that involve prolonged inflammation. Meanwhile, they found that the drug stimulates another protein called AMPK which mimics exercise and actively reduces chronic inflammation.

"Trodusquemine has already been trialed for treatment of diabetes and breast cancer but this is the first time it has been used in models of atherosclerosis," said lead researcher Professor Mirela Delibegovic. "These have only been tested at pre-clinical level, in mice, so far but the results were quite impressive and showed that just a single dose of this drug seemed to completely reverse the effects of artherosclerosis. The next step is to test the ability of this drug to improve outcomes in human patients with developed atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease."

The research was published in the journal Clinical Science.

Source: University of Aberdeen

7 comments
Ralf Biernacki
Treats diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis. . . have they discovered the panacea of the alchemists? Or will it be disqualified in testing because one of the test subjects is allergic and another gets diarrhea? Never mind it treats cancer and atherosclerosis. It cannot be used because it has side effects!
rederje
Miraculous "the drug stimulates another protein called AMPK which mimics exercise" is a scientific proof that exercising is anti-aging, simpler, safer and real on me 75 years old and my wife both running easily without any drug, among many scientific papers, since Jerry Morris proved in 1953 that exercising reduces by a factor two the risk of deadly heart attacks and strokes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Morris https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/science-shows-only-this-workout-can-actually-make-you_us_591c8e08e4b0b28a33f628c1
FabianLamaestra
Next step, "let's reduce the dosage and dispensable quantities to be just high enough to reduce the symptoms yet not enough to cure the problem." Gotta keep those stock holders happy.
ljaques
Given that heart disease is our #1 killer, this sounds like very, very good news if it pans out for humans as well as it has mice.
I wish we could remove healthcare companies from the stock exchange, so Fabian's forecast wasn't so true. (sigh)
Jean Lamb
How do I volunteer for a trial? My CRP score has been in the teens for the last ten years, and that can't be a good thing.
Ralf Biernacki
@Fabian: You're barking up the wrong tree. While pharma corporations are hardly angels, what is actually keeping new drugs from the market is overregulation and liability costs. There is simply no profit margin left in any but the most benign (and thus ineffective) and widely purchased pharmaceuticals. A herbal supplement that minimally helps metabolize fat fits that description; a strongly-acting drug that is only administered in a single dosage does not. The pharma companies will not produce drugs that cost more than they bring in. No company can do that, and stay in business. What we need is a wider acceptance for experimental drug use (this will reduce regulatory testing costs and time-to-market) as well as the legal possibility for an experimental patient to bindingly waive litigation rights (this will reduce litigation costs). Yes, this shifts risks from the drug maker to the patient. But at least you will have a choice between accepting that risk, or not. The way it works now, you are *forced* by the welfare state to refuse that risk, even if it is your only chance of survival.
john75
@ Ralf Biernacki Welfare state, eh? Your red hat is probably on too tight... I don't suppose you've noticed the fact only governments tend to bankroll vaccines since while profitable they aren't nearly as profitable as the next ED or diabetes pill, with the captive markets with deep pockets they bring.
Is that cynical or just accurately describing what happens when a corperation is legally obligated to *maximize* profit for its shareholders? But I suppose that's the exception rather than the rule (in fact it's the very rule of law.) Look up Martin Shkreli, assuming he's not your hero, who's claim to fame is gaining the exclusive manufacturing rights to an antiparasitic drug-of-last resort and promptly increased the price by a factor of 56.
A %5600 markup on a drug only people who will die without it want. Nice. But sure Big Pharma just needs a little less oversight to cure all the world's problems. Sure, buddy. Sure.