Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancer Drug Taxol Promotes Nerve Growth within Central Nervous System

17.02.2011
Using the optic nerve model, medical scientists from Düsseldorf / Ulm, Germany, headed by Prof. Dr. Dietmar Fischer, have demonstrated that paclitaxel, an approved cancer drug known as Taxol for two decades, facilitates the regeneration of nerve fibers, called axons, in the brain and central nervous system.

Once severed by injury, axons in the spinal cord or optic nerve cannot regenerate and remain disconnected from their original target areas. As a result, affected patients suffer permanent functional impairment or disability such as paraplegia or blindness.

“Using a low dose of Taxol locally at the site of injury is crucial to leveraging the regeneration-promoting effects of Taxol”, says Dietmar Fischer, Professor of Experimental Neurology, Department of Neurology, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.

These research results have most recently been published in the Journal of Neuroscience (February, 16, 2011 issue). Similar findings were obtained in the spinal cord of rats studied by an international research team led by the Max-Planck-Institut für Neurobiologie, Martinsried, Germany, and published a few days ago in the journal Science. These results demonstrate that Taxol can be used in various parts of the brain and spinal cord to successfully facilitate nerve fiber regeneration.

Used in the right dose, the drug simultaneously targets several mechanisms that normally prevent nerve growth: Taxol stabilizes specific structures (microtubules) in the growth cones of injured nerve fibers, resulting in substantially enhanced elongation. In addition, Taxol abolishes growth cone sensitivity to growth-blocking molecules which are normally in their vicinity after injury. Moreover, local administration of this cancer drug delays scar formation at the site of injury and suppresses the synthesis of growth-inhibiting molecules, thus substantially reducing this barrier to regeneration.

These current findings, generated independently and simultaneously by two teams of reseachers in different models – the spinal cord in one study and the rat optic nerve in the present study – are encouraging indeed, holding out the promise of continued therapeutic development as these results have been obtained for a clinically established human drug. “We are cautious about predicting the potential of Taxol or similar drugs for use in humans”, Prof. Fischer emphasizes, “although Taxol or similar drugs might be promising candidates for the treatment of injuries to the central nervous system, be it from stroke or trauma. While more studies are clearly needed, from the scientific standpoint we now have an additional strategy for the development of new treatments for repairing central nervous system injuries.”

Contact: Prof. Dr. Dietmar Fischer, Experimentelle Neurologie, Klinik für Neurologie, Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf, Phone: +49 015253838060, Mobile: +49 (0)173 3299792, E-mail: dietmar.fischer@uni-duesseldorf.de; www.fischerlab.de

Susanne Dopheide | idw
Further information:
http://www.uniklinik-duesseldorf.de/neurologie

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>