Researchers pursuing a new approach to treating one of the deadliest forms of cancer, glioblastoma, which is a virulent brain cancer. The scientists found that a combination of antidepressants and blood thinners was effective in a mouse model, increasing cancer cell “autophagy,” or the process that causes cells to essentially eat themselves.
According to a very informative article from Science Daily, Swiss researcher Douglas Hanahan, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and the lead author on the study, had this to say about the findings:
“It is exciting to envision that combining two relatively inexpensive and non-toxic classes of generic drugs holds promise to make a difference in the treatment of patients with lethal brain cancer.”
Although the results were quite promising, there is of course more research to be done and it’s not yet known whether this combination will work in humans. Also, the combination therapy did not cure the mice’s cancer, but did extend their survival. From the article:
“Importantly, the combination therapy did not cure the mice; rather, it delayed disease progression and modestly extended their lifespan,” Hanahan says. “It seems likely that these drugs will need to be combined with other classes of anticancer drugs to have benefit in treating gliblastoma patients. One can also envision ‘co-clinical trials’ wherein experimental therapeutic trials in the mouse models of glioblastom are linked to analogous small proof-of-concept trials in GBM patients. Such trials may not be far off.”
If we hear more about future trials, we’ll be sure to keep you posted! For now, you can catch up on all the details in Science Daily’s excellent article.
Source: ScienceDaily.com – “Antidepressants plus blood thinners cause brain cancer cells to eat themselves in mice“
Feature Photo Credit: © mgkuijpers / Fotolia