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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Blood Pressure medicine May help Skin Cancer patients

I found this article and thought I would share it with my followers as I think it is quite exciting!

Beta-blocker drugs are commonly used to treat high blood pressure. The way they work is by blocking the action of two hormones, called Adrenaline and Noradrenaline, when these normally bind to their receptors.

Note: Most of what happens in your body cells are a result of a specific key (= hormone, or other protein called ligand) linking to a specific key hole (=receptor), resulting in a door being opened to a new path (= a signal being created, leading to secondary messenger)

Key-keyhole system

It was discovered that certain cancer cells had receptors on their surface specific for adrenaline and noradrenaline. When those two hormones were binding to these receptors, the signal created was to produce more compounds that are known to stimulate blood flow to them, enhancing their growth and therefore spreading cancer to other parts of the body.

Thus, by treating a patient with Beta-blockers, you can lower the amount of those compounds that induce the cancer progression.

The Beta-blockers won't kill the the cancer cells but they may slow the disease progression, and in addition to normal chemotherapy, could contribute to increased survival time.

The Research group from Ohio who analysed results based on Skin Cancer patients from Denmark (They have a large database with complete information on their patients) and found this link are hoping to start a clinical trial very soon to confirm those findings.
Other groups working with Ovarian Cancer patients found similar results.
Work has also been done and more under way for Breast Cancer patients.

The advantage and exciting part of this research and discovery is that beta-blockers are inexpensive and won't add - hopefully, we'll have to wait for clinical trials results - any more side effects than chemotherapy already does such as hair loss and sickness.

But please remember self medication is never a good idea, if you are interested in the contents of this post and are affected by cancer, please talk to your doctor.

1 comment:

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