Schizophrenia drug may help fight cancer

June 3rd, 2009 - 4:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, June 3 (ANI): A drug used to treat schizophrenia may help beat cancer, according to a leading Australian researcher.

Sarah Ongeley, a University of New South Wales scientist, has reported the preliminary research on an anti-psychotic drug at this week’s Australian Society for Medical Research conference in Sydney.

As per epidemiological studies, schizophrenia patients have lower rates of cancer, especially lung cancer, even though they are more likely to smoke, claims Ongeley.

To reach the conclusion, Ongeley tested a range of medications for schizophrenia in the lab, reports ABC Online.

From analyses, she found that the most promising was the anti-psychotic called pimozide, which killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells in-vitro.

She is now trying to work out how pimozide kills cancer cells and to optimise its ability to do this.

“If we know how it works we can combine it with other drugs so the treatment will be more effective,” says Ongeley. (ANI)

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