Published On: Tue, Jul 26th, 2016

Malaria dugs can treat cancer



A new research study has revealed that a readily and inexpensively accessible malaria drug can help in treating a wide range of cancers, involving lung, bowel, brain, and head and neck cancer.

Enthused by the assuring consequences in mice, the researchers have currently begun testing the effects of the drug on humans.

Gillies McKenna who is the leading author of the research from Cancer Research UK Radiation Research Centre in Oxford stated that “This is an exciting result. We have now started a clinical trial in Oxford to see if we can show the same results in cancer patients,”

McKenna further added that “We hope that this existing low-cost drug will mean that resistant tumour can be re-sensitised to radiotherapy,”

The research study searched at the consequences of the drug, named atovaquone, on tumours with lesser oxygen levels in mice to notice whether it can be repurposed to deal with cancer.

This drug is not further out-and-out and is willingly and economically accessible from generic medicines producers.

This research study illustrated that the anti-malaria medicine holds up the pace at which cancer cells employ oxygen by targeting the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell that create energy, a procedure that employs oxygen.

By holding up the employ of oxygen, this medicine overturns the low-oxygen intensities in almost the entire of the tumors. The fully-oxygenated tumors are much simply smashed by radiotherapy.

In a research study presented in the journal Nature Communications, the medicine was illustrated to be successful in an extensive variety of cancers, involving lung, bowel, brain, and head and neck cancer.

Emma Smith, who is the Cancer Research UK’atovaquones Science Information Manager, further added in a statement “The types of cancer that tend to have oxygen-deprived regions are often more difficult to treat – such as lung, bowel, brain and head and neck cancer,”

Smith continued by saying that “Clinical trials will tell us whether this drug could help improve treatment options for patients with these types of tumor,”

The 4 main drug classes currently used to treat malaria include quinoline-related compounds, antifolates, artemisinin derivatives, and antimicrobials. No single drug that can eradicate all forms of the parasite’s life cycle has been discovered or manufactured yet. Therefore, 1 or more classes of drugs often are given at the same time to combat malarial infection synergistically. Treatment regimens are dependent on the geographic location of infection, the likely Plasmodium species, and the severity of disease presentation.

Beware of counterfeit antimalarial drugs being taken by patients that may have been purchased overseas or via the Internet. They may not contain any active ingredients at all and may contain dangerous materials.

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.