Heart Drug Successfully Treats Rare Cancer In Europe

Posted: Jan 18 2017, 10:50am CST | by , in News

Heart Drug Successfully Treats Rare Cancer in Europe
A drug that's commonly used to treat high blood pressure is being repurposed for a rare tissue cancer in Europe. The medication, named propranolol, was recently granted Orphan Drug Designation by the European Commission (EC). Here, biomedical Scientist Brad Bryan, Ph.D., who has published several papers on the drug, discusses his work with propranolol and soft tissue sarcomas. CREDIT: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

Scientists redeveloped a heart drug to treat rare cancer in Europe

Recently an old drug is repurposed for treating rare tissue cancer in Europe. The drug is very common and it’s used to treat high blood pressure. Propranolol, the high blood pressure drug was titled Orphan Drug Designation by EC the European Commission.

The title shows that it’s supported by EC for treatment of tissue cancer. The tissue named sarcoma cancer affects around one quarter of a million patients in Europe, and it’s a rare disease so hard to treat.

People with sarcomas don’t have high rate of survival, as 4 out of 10 patients die with this cancer and it’s essential to develop some treatment method to cure this cancer, said Brad Bryan, Ph.D., a biomedical scientist at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).

Sarcoma can be treated with Propranolol was first discovered by Bryan's TTUHSC El Paso lab. In his lab Bryan studied animal models and cell lines to find effects of drug on tumors. He published study results in 2013 PLOS One paper, and then in a 2015 JAMA Dermatology, the article.

Bryan explained that people with tissue cancer,angiosarcoma showed recovery after they were given Propranolol, though they had only few months to live. He also said that the treatment has either a few or no side effects.

Many other scientists from different parts of the world proved same study after treating their patients with rare cancer.

According to a report, full recovery happened in 69 years old woman with angiosarcoma when she was treated with propranolol. Here doctor was Shripad Banavali, M.D., an oncologist at Tata Memorial Center in Mumbai, India and Eddy Pasquier, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Aix-Marseille. The result of this research and recovery were published in Ecancermedicalscience. The doctor also treated 7 more patients with angiosarcoma

The results were awesome, so they got an NGO’s attention named anticancer funds. The object of the NGO is to raise funds for patients with this rare cancer.

Doctors want to have a license for using propranolol for treating angiosarcoma," said Pan Pantziarka, Ph.D., an oncology researcher at the Anticancer Fund.

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