About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Leukemia may Be Treated by Agent That Breaks Opioid Drugs Craving

by Rajashri on August 4, 2008 at 3:39 PM
Font : A-A+

 Leukemia may Be Treated by Agent That Breaks Opioid Drugs Craving

An agent used to break addiction to opioid drugs can help in combating leukemia, according to a group of German researchers.

According to the research team, methadone has surprising killing power against leukemia cells, including treatment resistant forms of the cancer.

Advertisement

Their laboratory study, published in the August 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggests that methadone holds promise as a new therapy for leukemia, especially in patients whose cancer no longer responds to chemotherapy and radiation.

"Methadone kills sensitive leukemia cells and also breaks treatment resistance, but without any toxic effects on non-leukemic blood cells," said the study's senior author, Claudia Friesen, Ph.D., of the Institute of Legal Medicine at the University Ulm.
Advertisement

"We find this very exciting, because once conventional treatments have failed a patient, which occurs in old and also in young patients, they have no other options," Claudia said.

Methadone, developed in Germany in the 1930s, is a low cost agent that acts on opioid receptors, and thus is used as an opioid substitute to treat addiction. Scientists have found that opioid receptors also exist on the surface of some cancer cells for reasons that are not understood. One research group tested the agent in human lung cancer cell lines and found that it can induce cell death.

In this study, Friesen and her colleagues tested methadone in leukemia cells in laboratory culture because this cancer also expresses the opioid receptor.

They found that methadone was as effective as standard chemotherapies and radiation treatments against non-resistant leukemia cells, and that non-leukemic peripheral blood lymphocytes survived after methadone treatment.

To their surprise, they found that methadone also effectively killed leukemia that was resistant to multiple chemotherapies and to radiation.

Probing the mechanism of methadone's action, the researchers found that it activates the mitochondrial pathway within leukemia cells, which activates enzymes called caspases that prompt a cell into apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death.

Chemotherapy drugs use the same approach, but methadone activated caspases in sensitive leukemia cells, and also reversed deficient activation of caspases in resistant leukemia cells.

Source: ANI
RAS/L
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drug Toxicity Leukemia Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Acute Myeloid Leukemia Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Signature Drug Toxicity Multiple Myeloma Drug Detox Drugs Banned in India Bone Marrow Transplantation 

Recommended Reading
Leukemia
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general information about Leukemia...
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the cancer of white blood cells characterized by excess ......
Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Acute myeloid Leukemia, more popularly known by its abbreviated form AML, is a fast- evolving ......
Bone Marrow Transplantation - Animation
Animation and slides providing graphic explanation of Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT)/Stem Cell ....
Bone Marrow Transplantation
Preferred Term is Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In this stem cell from bone marrow are in...
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
Chronic myeloid Leukemia is one of the most common types of blood cancer. It is characterized by ex...
Drug Detox
Drug detoxification (or drug detox) is a process that helps drug addicts to give up drugs with less ...
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...
Drugs Banned in India
Several drugs are either banned or withdrawn after introduction in the market....
Multiple Myeloma
Multiple Myeloma caught public attention when model turned actress Lisa Ray, who worked in Deepa Meh...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use