Unexpected feature 'lock' cancer of 3 types of arthritis drugs

A popular anti-arthritis medication may be prescribed for future breast cancer treatment, because it may reduce the risk of metastatic bone disease to only one third.

The three drugs tested were nakinra (brand name Kineret), canakinumab (Ilaris) and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine). In a new study from the University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield (UK), these arthritis medications unexpectedly blocked a protein called 1-beta interleukin, which can encourage the formation of secondary tumors.

Picture 1 of Unexpected feature 'lock' cancer of 3 types of arthritis drugs
Dr Rachel Eyre, head of the research team, at the lab - (photo: University of Manchester).

Experiments in mice showed that in the breast cancer mice taking these arthritis drugs, the rate of developing secondary tumors in bone was only 14%, while the rate in the non-drug mice was 42%. Because when the drug blocks the interleukin 1-beta protein , cancer cells are also prevented from attaching to bones.

Bone metastases are one of the complications that significantly reduce the chances of breast cancer surviving. Statistics in the US show that of the 11,500 women who die of breast cancer annually, most come from secondary tumors in other parts of the body, among which the leading bone metastases are the most common.

Lead author Dr Rachel Eyre from the University of Manchester, said the team will continue to look at whether these arthritis medications can prevent breast cancer from metastasizing to other organs, such as the liver. and lungs.

"Reusing" an existing drug is extremely beneficial for cancer treatment, because researching a new cancer drug is extremely difficult and expensive. The cost of available drugs is often much lower than that of specific cancer drugs.

The research has just been published in the journal Nature Communications.

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