Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common anemia: Drug represents first potential treatment

Date:
August 27, 2014
Source:
American Society of Hematology
Summary:
An experimental drug designed to help regulate the blood's iron supply shows promise as a viable first treatment for anemia of inflammation, according to results from the first human study of the treatment. Anemia is a condition that occurs when red blood cells are in short supply or do not function properly. When an individual has anemia, the body does not get enough oxygen, since there are fewer red blood cells to carry the iron-rich protein hemoglobin that helps distribute oxygen throughout the body.

An experimental drug designed to help regulate the blood's iron supply shows promise as a viable first treatment for anemia of inflammation, according to results from the first human study of the treatment published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology

Related Articles


Anemia is a condition that occurs when red blood cells are in short supply or do not function properly. When an individual has anemia, the body does not get enough oxygen, since there are fewer red blood cells to carry the iron-rich protein hemoglobin that helps distribute oxygen throughout the body. This can result in symptoms such as weakness and fatigue.

The most common form of anemia in the hospital setting is anemia of inflammation, which occurs when the body's immune response is activated during illness or infection. When the body fights a disease, it deploys an inflammatory response that triggers increased secretion of a hormone called hepcidin that reduces the amount of iron available in the bloodstream. As iron is needed for the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow, many patients develop anemia.

The only current treatment strategy for anemia of inflammation involves targeting the underlying disease or infection; however, recent research has sought to explore additional options for patients whose inflammation is difficult to control or when the cause of inflammation is unknown. As the principal regulator of iron, hepcidin has become a target for researchers developing novel therapies for blood disorders. One hepcidin inhibitor, called lexaptepid pegol (lexaptepid), has demonstrated efficacy in treating anemia of inflammation in animal studies. Lexaptepid inactivates hepcidin, thereby maintaining the transport of iron to the bloodstream.

In order to evaluate lexaptepid's potential in humans, investigators induced a safe and temporary model of anemia of inflammation in 24 healthy male adults and randomized them to receive lexaptepid or placebo. Volunteers received a low dose of Escherichia coli (E. coli) endotoxin to induce controlled inflammation and received either lexaptepid or placebo 30 minutes later. After nine hours, iron in the blood stream had decreased in the placebo group, whereas this decrease could be prevented by treatment with lexaptepid.

In addition to determining whether lexaptepid interfered with hepcidin production, researchers also sought to determine whether the drug influenced the immune response. All volunteers experienced similar flu-like symptoms, increased body temperature and white blood cell count, and higher concentrations of inflammatory and signaling proteins, demonstrating to investigators that lexaptepid did not interfere with the immune response process.

"It is quite encouraging that lexaptepid helped maintain appropriate levels of iron in the bloodstream of healthy volunteers without compromising the immune response," said lead study author Lucas van Eijk, MD, of Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands. "We are hopeful that, with further study, this first-of-its-kind therapy could significantly improve quality of life for patients suffering from chronic illnesses."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Lucas van Eijk et al. Effect of the anti-hepcidin Spiegelmerฎ lexaptepid on inflammation-induced decrease in serum iron in humans. Blood, August 2014 DOI: 10.1182/blood-2014-03-559484

Cite This Page:

American Society of Hematology. "Common anemia: Drug represents first potential treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827111938.htm>.
American Society of Hematology. (2014, August 27). Common anemia: Drug represents first potential treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827111938.htm
American Society of Hematology. "Common anemia: Drug represents first potential treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827111938.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) — Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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