Cancer Cells May Kill Themselves On Taking A Painkiller

June 21st, 2010 - 8:09 pm ICT by Pen Men At Work  

June 21, 2010 (Pen Men at Work): A U.S. research study has suggested that a painkiller may stimulate the cancer cells to kill themselves. The researchers of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute situated in La Jolla, conducted the study.

They connection between taking anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and lowering of some types of cancer, made them to find out how one anti-inflammatory administered to treat pain and fever called ‘Sulindac’ could start cell death, apoptosis in cancer cells.

According to a study published in the journal Cancer Cell, Sulindac binds to a protein RXRa, which transmits a signal to the nucleus and turns genes on or off.

In a statement, senior author Xiao-kun Zhang said, “Nuclear receptors act as excellent targets for drug development. Although, the mechanism of action is not always unambiguous, 13% of the existing drugs target nuclear receptors.”

Zhang said, usually the RXRa restrain tumors but various types of cancer cells generate a condensed form of this nuclear receptor, which acts just the opposite. He added that as per the study, the condensed RXRa increased tumor growth by stimulating other proteins, which help cancer cells survive. But the ‘Sulindac’ cannot fight this deviant RXRa by turning on apoptosis.

Now, Sulindac is prescribed as a drug for the treatment of pain, fever and to help lessen symptoms of arthritis.

If the study results are proved with strong evidence then it will come as a good relief to the cancer patients. However, the effect of it can be calculated now until the next study is out.

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