A drug used to treat cancer may also be effective in diseases that cause scarring of the internal organs or skin, such as pulmonary fibrosis or scleroderma.
The drug, with the generic name bortezomib, stopped the production of fibrotic proteins in human cells and the development of fibrous scarring in a mouse model of fibrotic disease, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study published in the journal Thorax.
"This drug appears to put the brakes on abnormal development of scar tissue in the lungs and skin and may also work in other organs," said lead author Manu Jain, M.D., associate professor of medicine and of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Children's Memorial Hospital. "These diseases have a high fatality rate, and there is no truly effective treatment for them right now."
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that causes progressive thickening and tightening of the skin and can lead to serious internal organ damage and, in some cases, death. Scleroderma affects an estimated 300,000 people in the United States, most frequently young to middle-aged women.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a scarring or thickening of the lungs without any known cause that makes it increasingly difficult to breathe. It may affect up to 200,000 people in the U.S. between 50 and 70 years old.
Jain said the drug appears to inhibit a protein called transforming growth factor beta, which is essential for the growth of the scar tissue. Patients with fibrosis have increased levels and activity of the growth factor. Bortezomib is currently used to treat multiple myeloma and lymphoma.
In the study, when researchers gave bortezomib to mice, it prevented the development of a fibrotic-like disease. "The mice that normally get this disease didn't get it," Jain said.
Researchers also took fibroblast cells from scleroderma and pulmonary fibrosis patients and incubated those cells with the drug. Fibroblast cells are believed to be important in the development of scarring in humans. The drug prevented the expression of proteins that are necessary for scarring.
Coauthors on the study are Gokhan Mutlu, M.D., and Scott Budinger, M.D., both associate professors of medicine at Feinberg and physicians at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Marla Paul | EurekAlert!
Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences