Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anti-cancer drug shows early promise in pulmonary hypertension

15.11.2006
A drug used to treat kidney cancer can prevent the development of pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs) in rodents, report researchers from the University of Chicago at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Heart Association, Nov. 12-15 in Chicago. There is no curative therapy for this condition.

"We are excited about this finding because there are so few treatment options for pulmonary hypertension," said study author Mardi Gomberg-Maitland, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "We have drugs that can slow progression of the disease but nothing that can stop or reverse the process. This is a ray of hope."

Pulmonary hypertension and cancer share certain features. Both diseases involve abnormal cellular growth. These abnormal cells – in the case of pulmonary hypertension, those that line the blood vessels leading to the lungs – release signals that stimulate the growth of small new blood vessels to feed the renegade cells, allowing further proliferation, and thickening of the vessel walls. Sorafenib appears to interfere with that process.

Although originally designed to fight colon cancer, the drug, sorafenib (Nexavar®), proved much more effective against kidney cancer. Sorafenib inhibits an enzyme, known as Raf kinase, which plays a role in tumor-cell growth. Researchers eventually realized it also hit other targets. After clinical trials in kidney cancer patients demonstrated improved survival, it won FDA approval in December 2005.

Now, in a surprise finding, it appears to have a use in treating this cardiovascular disease.

In pulmonary hypertension, the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs constrict. Their walls thicken, which narrows the opening and reduces blood flow. Pressures within the arteries build up, requiring the heart to pump harder to push blood through the narrowed tubes to the lungs. Eventually the heart can no longer keep up. Less and less blood reaches the lungs, the heart enlarges to try to overcome the pressure, and damage to the overworked heart accumulates.

Although treatment for pulmonary hypertension has improved, long-term survival, even with therapy, is disappointing, similar to that for lung cancer. Because sorafenib inhibits the chemical signals that can trigger both cellular proliferation and new blood vessel growth, Gomberg-Maitland and colleagues suspected it might slow the growth and thickening of the pulmonary artery walls.

To test this theory they treated rats at high risk for pulmonary hypertension with sorafenib. The researchers studied five groups of rats. One group stayed in normal cages and received no medication. The other four groups spent three weeks in a low-oxygen environment – about half the normal level – which can trigger pulmonary hypertension. Rats in the reduced-oxygen chambers received: no medication, a drug called SU5416 (well known to cause severe pulmonary hypertension in this setting), SU5416 plus sorafenib, or sorafenib alone.

As expected, the unmedicated rats in a low-oxygen environment had mildly elevated pulmonary artery pressures after three weeks and those that received SU5416 developed severe pulmonary hypertension. But, those that received sorafenib or sorafenib plus S5416, had negligible pressure increases. Sorafenib appeared not only to counteract the effects of the low-oxygen environment but also to prevent the additional damage caused by SU5416.

"This was an encouraging sign," said Gomberg-Maitland. This is "one of the best models we have for this disease," she said.

The side effects of the drug in humans have been relatively mild. The most common adverse effects are: rashes of the face and arms or hands and feet, mild diarrhea, and fatigue.

A phase-1 clinical trial of the drug in human patients with pulmonary hypertension is expected to begin this winter.

John Easton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uchospitals.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>