Mostly Cloudy
2°CThu :Mostly Sunny. High: 5 Low: -1

Drug from Foxgloves could treat breast cancer

Drug from Foxgloves could treat breast cancer

London: Drug extracted from one of Britain’s most popular flowers ‘Foxgloves’ could soon be used as treatment to stop spread of breast cancer, a new study has suggested.

Scientists in the U.S. have revealed that digoxin, a long-established drug based on chemicals found in foxglove, can block the production of a protein called HIF-1, which has been held responsible for the spread of breast cancer.

Digoxin has been used for decades to treat conditions like congestive heart failure and irregular heartbeats and the latest discovery, by a team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, has suggested that this cheap and easily available medicine could also be used in the fight against cancer.

“This is really exciting,” the Daily Mail quoted research leader Dr Gregg Semenza, from the Institute for Cell Engineering at the university as saying.

“Our findings warrant clinical trials to determine if the doses (used in animal studies) are enough to sufficiently block HIF-1 and slow breast cancer growth and spread.”

To see how the HIF-1 protein behaved when exposed to digoxin, researchers transplanted human breast cancer cells into mice and, two weeks later, gave them daily injections of either the drug itself or saline.

The study revealed that those who were given digoxin had fewer cancer cells spread to the lungs – one of the major sites that breast tumours migrate to – and tumours that had spread were smaller than in the saline group.

The findings could be even more significant because the research team found evidence that cancer cells start to spread from the breast to the lung much before than was previously thought.

This could indicate that if further trials verify the benefits of the drug, it is possible it could be routinely used in women with aggressive tumours to try and reduce the risk of them spreading.

Dr Caitlin Palframan, from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, insisted that the research is still in its early stages and clinical trials are needed to see if the drug can slow breast cancer growth and spread in humans.

“However, it is exciting as digoxin has been used for decades in medical treatment with a proven safety record.”

“We hope it means clinical trials will move quickly, allowing us to learn more about whether this approach will work to help prolong lives,” Dr Palframan added.

 

Top Stories

Saina_Nehwal_SwissOpen_AP

Saina beats Chinese adversary Shixian Wang in Superseries Finals

December-18-2014
Heading Indian lady shuttler Saina Nehwal beat ruling Asian Games champion Shixian Wang of China 21-17, 21-18 to win the first match
MTE1ODA0OTcxOTg4MDU5NjYx

Amitabh Bachchan becomes the king of Twitter

December-18-2014
In an examination report of the most famous Bollywood stars on Twitter, Big B with 12 million adherents on Twitter beat the
Sensex on budget day

India Sensex Ends Five-Day Decline as Asian Shares Rally on Fed

December-18-2014
Indian stocks climbed the most in six weeks, with the benchmark list stopping a five-day slide, as the rupee reinforced and worldwide
PM_Modi_Rajya_Sabha_PTI_650

PM Narendra Modi in Rajya Sabha Today, But BJP Adamant He Will Not Speak on Conversions

December-18-2014
New Delhi : Head administrator Narendra Modi will be in the Rajya Sabha today, however the decision BJP has concluded that it
IndiaTvec82b0_Abdul-Hamid

Bangladesh President to touch base in India on six-day visit today

December-18-2014
New Delhi: In a first-ever visit by a stately Head of Bangladesh, its President Abdul Hamid will touch base here on Thursday
tata-steel_660_121614054109

Tata Steel Close to Reopening its Top Iron Ore Mine

December-17-2014
New Delhi: Tata Steel may be permitted to resume creation from its greatest iron mineral mine in the not so distant future,