In an ongoing effort to help find a cure for malignant mesothelioma, researchers in Japan have determined that a drug used to treat blood pressure may also work to fight off the life-threatening mesothelioma disease.
According to reports, a medication called naftopidil has been researched for the past several years at the Hyogo College of Medicine, in Nishinomiya, Japan, by Dr. Mikami and his colleagues. During the latest research, however, Dr. Mikami discovered that the medication greatly suppressed mesothelioma tumors in lab mice.
“Naftopidil drastically suppressed tumor growth in mice inoculated with these cells,” Dr. Mikami reported in the Pharmacology journal.
Naftopidil is currently marketed under the brand name Flivas in the United States. Along with helping reduce blood pressure, it also treats Raynaud’s disease and prostate conditions, including prostate cancer. However, with new research that shows encouraging treatment options for mesothelioma patients, naftopidil may soon be known as the newest way to help battle the asbestos-related illness.
Earlier this year, another research team in Japan published a similar study in the Cancer Science journal, in which they wrote that the medication “could be developed as an effective anticancer drug for treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.”
There is currently no known cure for any type of mesothelioma. Although it tends to lie dormant for several decades, once the symptoms start to surface, mesothelioma become an extremely progressive disease, leading to a poor outlook for patients.
Experts and scientists have spent countless hours researching mesothelioma, in an attempt to find an effective treatment that successfully combats the lethal cancer. Recently, experts at Ohio’s Case Comprehensive Care Center and Germany’s Georg-Speyer-Haus Institute for Biomedical Research discovered that the component curcumin, commonly found in the spice turmeric, may help battle mesothelioma as well.
Curcurmin was shown to trigger and increase an enzyme known as PIAS3, which helps to fight cancer. When PIAS3 proteins are lowered in the body, there is an increased chance of mesothelioma patients dying. However, if PIAS3 is increased, it help to fight off a protein known as STAT3, which promotes cancerous cells when increased. It’s important to note, however, the experts state that eating turmeric is not enough to help mesothelioma patients, as curcumin is not absorbed properly. Instead, the component is applied via an analog.
Research is still ongoing, and experts feel that an effective treatment may soon be discovered.
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- Mikami, K et al, “Naftopidil is useful for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma”, October 4, 2014, Pharmacology, Epub ahead of print
- Kaku, Yoshiko et al, “Newly synthesized anticancer drug HUHS1015 is effective on malignant pleural mesothelioma”, April 18, 2014, Cancer Science, pp. 883-889.