150-year-old drug may improve radiation therapy for cancer: Study

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the drug does not affect the radiation sensitivity of well-oxygenated normal tissues.

Press Trust of India
Washington, Publish Date: Oct 18 2018 3:59PM | Updated Date: Oct 18 2018 3:59PM
150-year-old drug may improve radiation therapy for cancer: StudyRepresentational Image

A drug first identified 150 years ago and used as a smooth-muscle relaxant could make tumours more sensitive to radiation therapy, according to a study.

Researchers from Ohio State University (OSU) in the US found that the drug called papaverine, inhibits the respiration of mitochondria, the oxygen-consuming and energy-making components of cells, and sensitises model tumours to radiation.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the drug does not affect the radiation sensitivity of well-oxygenated normal tissues.

The researchers showed that modifying the papaverine molecule might improve the safety of the molecule and could represent a new class of radiosensitising drugs that have fewer side effects.

"We know that hypoxia (deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues) limits the effectiveness of radiation therapy, and that's a serious clinical problem because more than half of all people with cancer receive radiation therapy at some point in their care," said Nicholas Denko, a professor at OSU.

"We found that one dose of papaverine prior to radiation therapy reduces mitochondrial respiration, alleviates hypoxia, and greatly enhances the responses of model tumours to radiation," Denko said.

Radiation kills cancer cells in two ways: directly, by damaging DNA, and indirectly, by generating reactive, damage-causing molecules called oxygen radicals.

Hypoxic conditions reduce the generation of radiation-induced DNA damage and the effective toxicity of a dose of radiation.

"If malignant cells in hypoxic areas of a tumour survive radiation therapy, they can become a source of tumour recurrence. It is critical that we find ways to overcome this form of treatment resistance," Denko said.

Tumour hypoxia is a consequence of oxygen demand and supply. Cancer cells require high levels of oxygen to fuel their rapid growth, which can be so great that it outpaces the delivery of oxygen from the blood supply.

Poorly formed blood vessels in the tumour are not efficient at delivering oxygen and other nutrients.

Insufficient oxygen causes pockets of dead, necrotic cells surrounded by areas of hypoxia. Cancer cells in hypoxic regions at a distance from the blood vessel can also be beyond the reach of chemotherapy and be resistant to radiation.

Strategies to overcome radiation resistance typically focus on delivering more oxygen to the tumour, Denko said.

"But these attempts have met with little clinical success because tumours have poorly formed vasculature," he said.

"We took the opposite approach. Rather than attempting to increase oxygen supply, we reduced the oxygen demand, and these findings suggest that papaverine or a derivative is a promising metabolic radiosensitiser," Denko said.

Latest News

  1. Militants lob grenade at CRPF camp in south Kashmir's Pulwama
  2. Militants lob grenade at CRPF camp in south Kashmir's Pulwama
  1. Panchayat building set ablaze in south Kashmir's Pulwama
  2. Panchayat building set ablaze in south Kashmir's Pulwama
  1. Ready to join third front if it takes shape in Jammu and Kashmir, says Muzaffar Baig
  2. Ready to join third front if it takes shape in Jammu and Kashmir, says Muzaffar Baig
  1. Trump criticises Navy SEAL for not capturing Osama bin Laden sooner
  2. Trump criticises Navy SEAL for not capturing Osama bin Laden sooner
  1. Ladakh MP cites 'false' promises, unwise decisions for quitting BJP
  2. Ladakh MP cites 'false' promises, unwise decisions for quitting BJP
  1. Dicka's 70th minute strike hands Bagan 1-0 win over Real Kashmir
  2. Dicka's 70th minute strike hands Bagan 1-0 win over Real Kashmir
  1. JKSSB cancels 71 selections, asks candidates in waiting list to approach concerned departments
  2. JKSSB cancels 71 selections, asks candidates in waiting list to approach concerned departments
  1. Panchayat polls: Kupwara records highest voter turnout in Kashmir
  2. Panchayat polls: Kupwara records highest voter turnout in Kashmir
  1. JRL calls shutdown on November 22 against killing of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader
  2. JRL calls shutdown on November 22 against killing of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader
  1. Cop, who allegedly attempted suicide at DGP office, succumbs to injuries
  2. Cop, who allegedly attempted suicide at DGP office, succumbs to injuries
  1. DSEK invites applications from under privileged students to avail 10 percent quota in coaching centres
  2. DSEK invites applications from under privileged students to avail 10 percent quota in coaching centres
  1. Delhi CM attacked with chilli powder in secretariat: Officials
  2. Delhi CM attacked with chilli powder in secretariat: Officials
  1. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader’s killing part of conspiracy to suppress genuine Kashmir voices: Jama’at
  2. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader’s killing part of conspiracy to suppress genuine Kashmir voices: Jama’at
  1. Two army soldiers wounded in cross-LoC fire in Pir Panjal
  2. Two army soldiers wounded in cross-LoC fire in Pir Panjal
  1. Deeply saddened by killing of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader in south Kashmir, says Mirwaiz
  2. Deeply saddened by killing of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader in south Kashmir, says Mirwaiz
  1. Panchayat polls: 57 per cent voter turnout recorded in Bandipora till noon
  2. Panchayat polls: 57 per cent voter turnout recorded in Bandipora till noon
  1. Judge halts Trump's asylum ban
  2. Judge halts Trump's asylum ban
  1. Would be good for Musharraf to return to Pak to face trial: Court
  2. Would be good for Musharraf to return to Pak to face trial: Court
  1. SC adjourns CBI hearing post 'leak' of Verma's response
  2. SC adjourns CBI hearing post 'leak' of Verma's response
  1. Vaishno Devi pilgrim from Maharashtra dies in Katra
  2. Vaishno Devi pilgrim from Maharashtra dies in Katra
  1. Salahuddin condemns killing of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader, calls it ‘handiwork of Indian agencies’
  2. Salahuddin condemns killing of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader, calls it ‘handiwork of Indian agencies’
  1. Militants killed in Shopian gunfight identified
  2. Militants killed in Shopian gunfight identified
  1. Panchayat polls: Less than one per cent polling recorded in Anantnag till 10 AM
  2. Panchayat polls: Less than one per cent polling recorded in Anantnag till 10 AM
  1. Pakistan, IMF facing differences over bailout programme
  2. Pakistan, IMF facing differences over bailout programme
  1. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat district president Anantnag Hafizullah Mir shot dead
  2. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat district president Anantnag Hafizullah Mir shot dead
  1. Four militants, army commando killed in Shopian gunfight; Internet suspended
  2. Four militants, army commando killed in Shopian gunfight; Internet suspended
  1. Amritsar attack: Punjab Police detain 'hardliners' for questioning
  2. Amritsar attack: Punjab Police detain 'hardliners' for questioning
  1. Militant killings trigger violent protests in Shopian, Pulwama towns
  2. Militant killings trigger violent protests in Shopian, Pulwama towns
  1. Six killed, 10 injured in explosion near ordnance depot in Maharashtra
  2. Six killed, 10 injured in explosion near ordnance depot in Maharashtra
  1. Three girls among four civilians injured in Shopian clashes, referred to Srinagar
  2. Three girls among four civilians injured in Shopian clashes, referred to Srinagar
  1. 2nd phase of Panchayat polls begins in Jammu and Kashmir
  2. 2nd phase of Panchayat polls begins in Jammu and Kashmir
  1. Abducted Shopian youth shot in leg, set free
  2. Abducted Shopian youth shot in leg, set free
  1. Jammu and Kashmir border clash: Mortar shells land near Poonch brigade headquarters
  2. Jammu and Kashmir border clash: Mortar shells land near Poonch brigade headquarters
  1. Multiple people reported shot near hospital in Chicago
  2. Multiple people reported shot near hospital in Chicago
  1. Three army soldiers wounded as gunfight breaks out in south Kashmir's Shopian
  2. Three army soldiers wounded as gunfight breaks out in south Kashmir's Shopian
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine