Study shows cancer treatments could be repurposed as Alzheimer’s drugs

pharmafile | November 11, 2021 | News story | Business Services  

A new study published in Science Advances has shared that cancer drugs can be repurposed as therapies to be tested in clinical trials, for those at genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Research combining examination of alteration in brain protein in these individuals, as well as laboratory experiments in animal models and cell cultures, may aid scientists to more quickly and effectively identify existing drugs to test their potential as Alzheimer’s interventions.

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease, and the cause of 60-70% of cases of dementia. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s is not yet fully understood, though a number of factors are thought to increase an individual’s risk of developing the condition, including age, family history of the condition, untreated depression, and conditions associated with cardiovascular disease.

The findings of this new study represent efforts from researchers at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and NIA-supported teams at the University of California, Rush University, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Their findings show that an experimental drug for liver cancer and Dasatinib, approved for chronic myeloid leukemia, act upon some Alzheimer’s disease related proteins such as APOE4. The result suggests these drugs may be potential Alzheimer’s therapies. Further, the drugs reduced neuroinflammation, amyloid secretion, and tau phosphorylation in cell culture experiments, underscoring their potential as candidates to be tested in Alzheimer’s clinical trials.

Alzheimer’s is most common in those over the age of 65, with 1 in 14 people over that age being affected. However, 1 in 20 of those Alzheimer’s are under the age of 65. The prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease is poor, and in 2015, all forms of dementia resulted in roughly 1.9 million deaths.

Ana Ovey

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