Anti-Alcoholism Drug from 1950s Shows Promise in Treating Mesothelioma

An FDA-approved drug used since the 1950s to treat alcoholism has shown considerable promise in suppressing the spread of mesothelioma and enhancing the effectiveness of chemotherapy, according to a recently published study. Scientists and clinicians conducted the study, published April 2014 in PLOS ONE, to examine the effects of copper-enhanced disulfiram (DSF-Cu) on malignant pleural mesothelioma cells in vitro and on animal models. Arun K. Rishi, Ph.D., of the Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University, said the findings could clear a path to more effective treatment options for the cancer caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos fibers. "A drug like this could have the potential to localize the disease and prevent its spread," Rishi told Asbestos.com. "That's very exciting." Long-time mesothelioma specialist Harvey Pass, M.D., director of thoracic surgery at New York University Medical Center, also co-authored the study. Effective against Other Cancers Previous studies had shown the effectiveness of disulfiram against breast, lung and colon cancer cells, leading to the anticipation of positive results with mesothelioma. The next step before possible approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of mesothelioma would be a Phase I clinical trial. Disulfiram, which is sold under the brand name Antabuse, works in the treatment of alcoholism on a molecular level by changing the way alcohol is metabolized...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

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