Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sleeping sickness drug may provide long-term protection against nonmelanoma skin cancers

Date:
October 27, 2011
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
An antiparasitic agent used to treat African sleeping sickness might someday be used to prevent nonmelanoma skin cancers. Researchers found that DFMO, or alpha-difluoromethylornithine, still appeared to protect against nonmelanoma skin cancers years after people stopped taking the drug, according to new research.

An antiparasitic agent used to treat African sleeping sickness might someday be used to prevent nonmelanoma skin cancers. Researchers found that DFMO, or α-difluoromethylornithine, still appeared to protect against nonmelanoma skin cancers years after people stopped taking the drug, according to a poster presented at the 10th AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held Oct. 22-25, 2011.

In this follow-up study, researchers evaluated prolonged evidence of a protective effect of DFMO among 209 people who had participated in an earlier study. The researchers also wanted to ensure there were no obvious deleterious effects associated with the drug, according to Howard H. Bailey, M.D., professor of medicine, and study presenter Sarah Lamont, a medical student, both from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

The original study was a phase III, randomized, double-blind, prospective study of 291 men and women with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer. They were assigned to either DFMO or a placebo for four to five years. At the end of the study period, researchers found a reduced skin cancer incidence among those assigned to DFMO.

"We showed a significant protective effect against basal cell carcinoma, but not a significant amount of protection against squamous cell carcinoma of the skin," Bailey said.

The main side effect was a slight ototoxicity that was found on testing, but this was not associated with a noticeable reduction in hearing by the subjects.

In the current retrospective study, researchers reviewed the electronic medical records of 209 of the original participants to establish cancer rates and to see if any other illnesses they might have developed could be attributed to DFMO.

"We found there is still evidence that the men and women assigned to DFMO for five years continued to have a lower incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancers compared with people assigned to placebo," Bailey said. "What we saw was that the presumed benefit that people got in taking DFMO appeared to persist for years after stopping it."

Study limitations include that participants may have been followed differently or changed their behaviors to limit sun exposure because of being in the original study, Bailey said.

"Our data suggest that the protective event that we saw in our prospective study appears to continue and there was no evidence of any rebound effect," he said. "We did not find any evidence that the people who received DFMO were harmed [other than the original ototoxicity]."

However, Bailey cautioned, more studies are needed before DFMO can be recommended as a prophylaxis against nonmelanoma skin cancers.

He added that such prophylaxis measures are needed because public health efforts to teach people about limiting sun exposure have not resulted in fewer cases of skin cancer, with more than 2 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer diagnosed each year. "The incidence continues to rise despite public health efforts to get people to lessen their sun exposure," Bailey said.

The study was sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Sleeping sickness drug may provide long-term protection against nonmelanoma skin cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024084710.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2011, October 27). Sleeping sickness drug may provide long-term protection against nonmelanoma skin cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024084710.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Sleeping sickness drug may provide long-term protection against nonmelanoma skin cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024084710.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. 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