A team of experts has found that a common anti-depressant might be able to treat a type of cancer, which is known as ‘childhood sarcoma’. They have said it might delay the growth of cancer. This study has been done on mice and laboratory cells, which has made a path for a new treatment strategy to treat this ailment. The lead author of the study, Caitrin Crudden has said that young cancer patients need better and effective treatment options. The new research suggests that repurposing the common drugs might be beneficial for young cancer patients. The new study has been released in the journal Cancer Research. Experts from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have come up with the new report.
The experts have analyzed the similarities between two large sets of cell surface receptors the G protein-coupled receptors (GPRCs) and the receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Experts have shown that GPRC has been used by more than half of all developed medicines to treat diseases such as asthma, depression, anxiety, allergies, and high blood pressure; however, it has not been used to cure cancers. On the other hand, RTKs have been used to treat cancers such as breast and colon cancers. Experts have revealed that there is one receptor in the RTK family called insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R) plays a crucial role in the growth of many types of cancer including childhood sarcoma. Experts have been trying to develop anti-cancer drugs against this receptor, but they have failed until now. In the study, researchers have found that IGF1R has a similar signaling module like GPRCs, which means drugs, which target GPRCs might be able to affect the function of this deadly receptor as well.
Experts have said that this study has opened the doors for repurposing these drugs to eradicate this tumor triggering receptor. It might halt the growth of cancer, said the experts. Experts have treated childhood sarcoma in mouse models with Paroxetine, which is an antidepressant medicine. This drug damages the serotonin reuptake receptor, which is a part of the GPRC family. At the end of the study, they have found that the drug has been able to reduce the number of IGF1R receptors in the malignant cells; therefore, it has reduced the growth of cancer as well.