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Blood Pressure Drug Shows Promise For Mesothelioma Treatment

A popular blood pressure medication that has been used in the treatment of a variety of other conditions is now showing promise in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Researchers in Japan have indicated that they have been studying the impact of naftopidil for several years and have high hopes for its future. Naftopidil is sold in the United States under the brand name Flivas. It is an alpha blocker that is used to control high blood pressure. Some physicians have also been utilizing it to treat certain types of cancer because it has been shown to have antitumor properties. It is also being used to treat Raynaud’s disease and some prostate conditions, and now researchers at Hyogo College of Medicine in Nishinomiya, Japan are using it in the laboratory to see how it impacts mesothelioma cells in the laboratory and in live mice.

Their research has shown that naftopidil has a positive impact on the way that microRNA regulates programmed cell death in laboratory animals that carry human mesothelioma cells. According to lead author Koji Mikami, writing in the journal Pharmacology, “Naftopidil drastically suppressed tumor growth in mice inoculated with these cells.” He and his colleagues in the respiratory medicine department are encouraged by their results, which have been the result of several years of study.

The Japanese study is not the first to propose the use of naftopidil as a beneficial treatment for malignant mesothelioma. Another study came out of a different Japanese research team earlier this year in the journal Cancer Science. That team’s research showed that an analog of naftopidil called HUHS 1015 had a dramatic impact on cell viability in malignant mesothelioma cells. It decreased the rate of the growth of mesothelioma tumors in laboratory animals. Those researchers came to a similar conclusion about the future of the medication in mesothelioma therapy, stating that it “could be developed as an effective anticancer drug for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.”

Mesothelioma is a rare and always fatal form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma face tremendously challenging prognoses, as the median survival rate is less than two years, and that is with aggressive and difficult treatments.Research such as the ongoing studies in Japan are the best hope for a future free of mesothelioma.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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