Cancer Drug Challenged To Mend Damage Caused By Heart Disease
Congestive heart failure (CHF) has a cure rate that's worse than most cancers, with 40 percent dying within a year of diagnosis. But a drug used for cancer therapy is about to be tested on a small group of human subjects, after decades of studying its performance on everything from yeast cells to mice.
CHF can cause heart attacks, enlarged hearts, high blood pressure, difficulty breathing, valve disease, and autophagy, a process in which cells attack their own proteins. The cancer drug, a member of the family of drugs called Histone deacetylases, has been successful in experiments with mice hearts in reducing the size of enlarged hearts and restoring normal cell function, thereby reducing autophagy.
The research team at the University of Texas Southwestern Heart Center is feeling very positive about the potential effects of the drug on patients with CHF. Joseph Hill, chief cardiologist at the Center told the Daily Mail about the amazing reversal of events observed in the mice hearts treated.
"The heart decreased back to near its normal size, and heart function that had previously been declining went back to normal. That is a powerful observation where disease regression, not just disease prevention, was seen."
Research into already approved cancer drugs to treat other serious disease is not new to Southwestern (See: Cancer Drug Shows Promise For Inherited Form Of Dementia). Though rigorous protocols are still needed to prove the efficacy of approved drugs for a new purpose, the time lines for FDA approval are generally shorter the second time around.
via Daily Mail