Jet lag drugs could ease side effects of cancer medicine, suggests Edinburgh University
Source : NewsBharatiDate : 17-Sep-2017
New Delhi, September 17: Cancer is not spreading of virus; it is multiplication of cells in the body. And cancer is very painful in the advanced stages and most of the times, even doctors can’t recommend of pills that can ease it. But University of Edinburgh and University of Aberdeen in UK have come up with a brilliant and most shocking solution to this. A drug used to ease the effects of jet lag may also prevent the painful side effects of cancer medications. The pain caused by chemotherapy damage to nerves by blocking the harmful effects on nerve health can be prevented.
They focused on a common condition known as chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CINP), which causes tingling and pain sensation to touch and cold temperatures that can be severe enough to cause patients to limit their chemotherapy treatment. CINP affects almost 70 per cent of patients undergoing chemotherapy and can have severe impact on quality of life.
Everyday activities, including fastening buttons or walking barefoot, can cause pain that can persist even after the cancer is cured, meaning that some patients are unable to return to work or able to carry out household tasks. Researchers showed that melatonin given prior to chemotherapy limited the damaging effect on nerve cells and the development of pain symptoms.
Melatonin did not alleviate pain when CINP had already developed, suggesting that its potential benefits could be as prevention rather than cure, researchers said. They noted that meltdown treatment did not interfere with the beneficial anticancer effects of chemotherapy in human breast and ovarian cancer cells.
“These findings are very exciting and suggest that melatonin could prevent CINP by protecting nerve cell mitochondria,” said Carole Torsney, from University of Edinburgh. The study was published in the Journal of Pineal Research.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that controls sleeping patterns, although synthetic versions can be produced in the laboratory. It can be used to alleviate sleep disturbance but is not available in the UK without prescription.
Prof Lesley Colvin, pain specialist at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We are actively exploring an early-phase clinical study to see if these exciting laboratory findings might translate to direct benefit for patients undergoing chemotherapy.