How cancer could be treated with an old alcoholism drug

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Previous studies have demonstrated that the alcohol abuse drug disulfiram has anticancer properties.

This study was conducted by an international team of researchers led by Jiri Bartek, of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen.

But as Bartek and colleagues explain in their paper, the drug hasn't yet been repurposed for cancer treatment because the mechanism and molecular pathways through which the drug may act against cancer were unknown.

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that in the next two decades, the number of new cancer cases will rise by 70 percent.

In this context, drug repurposing is a safe, cost- and time-effective alternative.

An old, safe drug may save lives worldwide So, Bartek and colleagues set out to unravel the mystery of disulfiram's anticancer properties.

Then, the researchers carried out in vitro studies of cancer cells and in vivo studies of mice and identified the metabolite of disulfiram that enables the drug to fight off cancer: the so-called ditiocarb-copper complex.

The researchers also identified ways to further detect and analyze how this metabolite complex accumulates in tumors.

Finally, and importantly, the researchers found the molecular pathway through which this ditiocarb-copper complex acts to suppress cancer cells.

The researchers conclude: [Disulfiram is] an old, safe, and public domain drug that might help to save lives of patients with cancer worldwide.

Author: @DailyCupofYoga

Source: medicalnewstoday.com