Cocktail of diabetes and hypertension drugs effective in killing cancer cells

In their experiments, researchers found that almost all tumour cells in leukaemia patients were killed by this cocktail at doses that are actually not toxic to normal cells

A combination of drugs for diabetes and hypertension may offer an effective new way to combat cancer, suggests a new research.

In their experiments, researchers found that cocktail-drugscombination of diabetes drug metformin and antihypertensive drug syrosingopine drives cancer cells to programmed “suicide”.

“We have been able to show that two known drugs lead to more profound effects on cancer cell proliferation than each drug alone,” said study first author Don Benjamin from the University of Basel in Switzerland.

“Data from this study support development of combination approaches for treatment of cancer patients,” Benjamin noted.

Metformin is a widely prescribed drug for treatment of Type-2 diabetes.

Besides its blood sugar lowering effect, it also displays anti-cancer properties. Usual therapeutic dose, however, is too low to effectively fight cancer.

At higher doses, anti-diabetic drug inhibits growth of cancer cells, but could also induce unwanted side effects.

New research published in journal Science Advances showed that antihypertensive drug syrosingopine enhances anti-cancer efficacy of metformin.

Study showed that cocktail of these two drugs is effective in a wide range of cancers.

“For example, in samples from leukaemia patients, we demonstrated that almost all tumour cells were killed by this cocktail and at doses that are actually not toxic to normal cells,” Benjamin said.

“And effect was exclusively confined to cancer cells, as blood cells from healthy donors were insensitive to treatment,” Benjamin noted.

In mice with malignant liver cancer, enlargement of liver was reduced after therapy. Also, number of tumour nodules was less – in some animals tumours disappeared completely.

Researchers found that drugs interrupt vital processes which provide energy for cancer cell.

Source: Times of India