Drug for Pulmonary Hypertension could work for cancer, finds study


A recent clinical research suggests a drug used to treat pulmonary hypertension worked markedly in clinical trials involving some critical cancers. According to the finding, the drug significantly reduced the capacity of tumor cells to traverse and attack other tissues as observed in trials involving cell lines of pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and leukemia.

Furthermore, for clinical trials in mice with aggressive breast cancer, the drug worked to be advantageous. It reduced the incidence of metastatis in the lungs and liver by 47% and expanded survival when compared with untreated animals.

Meanwhile, as per medical knowledge, the drug ambrisentan inhibits the endothelin type A receptor. As endothelin type A receptor plays a role in vasoconstriction, the drug is used to treat pulmonary hypertension.

“For clinical trials, in a laboratory environment, the drug prevented traversing of tumor cells to other tissues and displayed other effects that are being investigated,” said the principal investigator of the study.

Endothelin type A receptor is shown in endothelium. In fact, some other research shows the involvement of endothelin type A receptor in tumor growth and metastasis.

Drug works in two ways, adds study 

“Interestingly, besides preventing migration of tumor cell, the drug appears to work in another way too. The drug works to include the inhibition of neoangiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels for tumor growth to sustain, added the principal investigator.

However, benefits of the drug for the treatment of cancer is yet to be proven. The use of the drug without guidance of a physician can be harmful to health, especially for pregnant women.

During trial phase, using special techniques to evaluate cell migration, researchers learned more about the drug. The drug significantly reduced migration of tumor cells that received a stimulus as well as spontaneous migration of tumor cells.

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