a team of US scientists at the Dana-Farber
Cancer Institute have successfully
managed to slow down the growth of pancreatic tumor in mice.
was originally developed to treat malaria. Later scientists discovered its mild
suppressing activity on the immune system and began using hydroxychloroquine in
autoimmune diseases. As immune system suppressants inhibit the process of
autophagy which is elevated in cancer patients, researchers showed interest in
the drug. Autophagy is a process which helps
the cells to survive or adapt to treatments like chemotherapy by helping the
cells convert non-critical proteins into nutrients. In early laboratory tests
it was revealed that the drug decreased growth among the tumor cells, which
suggests that the cells further rely on autophagy for their growth.
have been encouraging and led to the opening of two new clinical trials in
patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.