Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medication For Depression Can Also Fight Cancer Drug Resistance

Date:
December 22, 2008
Source:
Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Prozac is regularly prescribed to ease the emotional pain of patients who are being treated for cancer. But can this common anti-depressant help to fight cancer itself?

Prozac is regularly prescribed to ease the emotional pain of patients who are being treated for cancer. But can this common anti-depressant help to fight cancer itself?

Dr. Dan Peer of the Department of Cell Research and Immunology at Tel Aviv University is proving that it can. A study he and his colleagues recently completed validates that Prozac (chemical name fluoxetine) dramatically enhances the effectiveness of a widely used anti-cancer drug.

“The good news is that the medical community won't have to wait — Prozac can be used for this purpose right away,” says Dr. Peer, noting that doctors in the U.S. already prescribe it to treat depression in chemotherapy patients.

Fighting Drug Resistance in Colon Cancer Patients

“Prozac is a very interesting non-specific blocker of cancer resistance,” says Dr. Peer, whose study focused on colon cancer and the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin.

In their laboratory experiments, the Tel Aviv University scientists led by graduate student Mirit Argov together with Prof. Rimona Margalit, found that Prozac enhanced doxorubicin's efficacy more than 1,000%. Prozac, in effect, worked to block the cancer drug from leaving the interior of the cancer cell and poisoning the healthy non-cancerous cells that surrounded it.

In animal models, a mild doxorubicin-fluoxetine treatment combination slowed down tumor progression significantly. These results suggest that pairing Prozac with chemotherapeutic drugs to curb drug resistance warrants further clinical study, says Dr. Peer.

His research was just published in Cancer Letters, and his suggestions are now listed as recommendations in the latest version of Cancer Encyclopedia.

Working Backward to Make Great Advances

“Working with a major drug developer, we have validated Prozac's potential, and now Tel Aviv University can lead a humanitarian effort to save lives around the globe,” he says.

Since it is very hard to protect this patent because any clinician can prescribe Prozac, it is impossible for Tel Aviv University to commercialize its research, says Dr. Peer. Instead, he suggests that researchers join forces internationally to implement retrospective studies of all the types of cancer treatment in which Prozac was prescribed. And further clinical experiments to validate the use of Prozac with chemotherapy is also needed, he stresses.

“The next step is to take the files of chemo patients and determine whether they received Prozac for their depression,” says Dr. Peer. “This will streamlinethe understanding in the scientific community of whether, how and for which cancer-fighting drugs Prozac can be an effective partner. It will also give us invaluable information on how to design new drugs."

Dr. Peer's Tel Aviv University lab is also developing several new drug delivery nanotechnologies to bring novel therapeutics into breast, blood, pancreatic and brain cancers. A recent technological breakthrough to reprogram immune cells involved in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease was reported in Science earlier this year and it is the basis of a new platform technology developed in his group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tel Aviv University. "Medication For Depression Can Also Fight Cancer Drug Resistance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218122240.htm>.
Tel Aviv University. (2008, December 22). Medication For Depression Can Also Fight Cancer Drug Resistance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218122240.htm
Tel Aviv University. "Medication For Depression Can Also Fight Cancer Drug Resistance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218122240.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins