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Anti-fungal drug may treat cancer too

Thu, Apr 16, 2015, 11:30 AM
New York, April 16, 2015: A drug commonly used to treat a broad range of fungal infections, including skin and nail infections, has a lot of potential as a new cancer treatment, research has found.

Itraconazole, a generic anti-fungal agent that costs relatively less, shows some evidence of efficacy in metastatic prostate cancer -- which would make it an attractive proposition given the high costs associated with cancer treatments such as arbiraterone, said Pan Pantziarka, member of the Repurposing ***** in Oncology (ReDO) project that researched the potential of the drug.

The ReDO project is an international collaboration of anticancer researchers that seeks to repurpose well-known and well-characterised non-cancer ***** for new uses in oncology.

"Itraconazole shows potential in a number of areas with high unmet patient needs, particularly in non-small cell lung cancer and possibly in some rarer malignancies," Pantziarka pointed out.

The low cost of itraconazole could make it an attractive cancer treatment in low and middle income countries.

But there are a few roadblocks that must be addressed before this anti-fungal medication can reach the anti-cancer market, the researchers noted.

"Our intention in collecting data on re-purposed ***** is to do more than merely bringing it to the attention of the medical community," study author Lydie Meheus from the Anticancer Fund, Belgium.
Agency: IANS
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