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Lung cancer drug could aid plight of ectopic pregnancy patients

Date:
September 9, 2013
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Women with ectopic pregnancies could be spared surgery if they are treated with a lung cancer drug, a study suggests. Researchers treated ectopic pregnancies -- where an embryo implants inside the Fallopian tube -- by combining an existing treatment with a lung cancer therapy.

Women with ectopic pregnancies could be spared surgery if they are treated with a lung cancer drug, a study suggests.

Researchers treated ectopic pregnancies -- where an embryo implants inside the Fallopian tube -- by combining an existing treatment with a lung cancer therapy.

They found that prescribing both drugs together was more effective at helping cure an ectopic pregnancy than the conventional drug alone.

Lung cancer drug

The lung cancer drug -- called gefitinib -- helps by blocking a protein that is known to encourage cell growth, and which was found to be present in high levels at the site of ectopic pregnancies.

Combining gefitinib with the conventional treatment, which is called methotrexate, could reduce the need to remove the Fallopian tube in a significant number of cases.

This would help the patient's level of fertility -- say researchers led by Dr Andrew Horne at the University of Edinburgh and Dr Stephen Tong at the University in Melbourne.

Ectopic pregnancies

Ectopic pregnancy can be treated with drugs in the early stages of development, but surgery is needed when it is more developed.

Researchers also found that the drug combination was able to shorten the time it took to successfully treat ectopic pregnancies in women who did not need surgery.

Around 12,000 women undergo an ectopic pregnancy in the UK each year, and the condition is responsible for up to eight per cent of pregnancy-related deaths.

The study, published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology, involved a trial of 12 women with ectopic pregnancies. Researchers now plan to run a larger trial.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Lung cancer drug could aid plight of ectopic pregnancy patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909201331.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2013, September 9). Lung cancer drug could aid plight of ectopic pregnancy patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909201331.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Lung cancer drug could aid plight of ectopic pregnancy patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909201331.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

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