- New hope in the treatment of colon cancer and pancreatic cancer
- Can Antidepressants slow down tumor growth?
- First promising Tests with mice
New studies of cancer treatment give patients hope: According to Swiss researchers, the well-known antidepressant “Prozac” may prevent the growth of colon tumors and pancreatic cancer. This is at least proven by the first promising tests with mice.
“Prozac” against cancer: antidepressant is said to slow down tumor growth
In a current study, a team of researchers from the University of Zurich examined how serotonin affects cancer cells. Serotonin is also known as the “happiness hormone” and is primarily responsible for our mood. People with low serotonin levels can suffer from depression. Many common antidepressants therefore start here. They are often serotonin reuptake inhibitors and increase the levels of serotonin in the brain.
However, most of the serotonin is produced in the lining of the intestine and stored in platelets. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase the level of serotonin in the brain, thereby reducing the level of serotonin in the blood platelets. Cancer cells use the messenger substance serotonin to camouflage themselves from the immune cells, as the researchers found out.
How can the antidepressant “Fluoxetine”, better known as “Prozac”, help against cancer? Since antidepressants lower the serotonin in the blood platelets, tumors can no longer use the messenger substance. In experiments with mice, the researchers found that tumor growth slowed significantly in mice and that more T cells had migrated into the cancerous tumors to fight the cancer.
Serotonin blockers help identify tumor cells
One researcher of the study explains: “Antidepressants and other serotonin blockers cause the immune cells to recognize the tumor cells again and efficiently eliminate them.” The growth of colon and pancreatic cancer could be slowed down in mice.
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“Our results give hope for cancer patients, because the drugs used have already been approved for clinical use,” says researcher Pierre-Alain Clavien. It is to be hoped that the first clinical studies will start soon.
Also interesting: Antibiotics Increase Colon Cancer Risk: Study Shows Relationship
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