Tapeworm drug inhibits colon cancer metastasis
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A compound, niclosamide that has been used as a drug against tapeworm infection for about 60 years is also apparently effective against colon cancer metastasis, as studies using mice have now shown. The compound silences a gene that triggers the formation of metastases in colon cancer. Professor Ulrike Stein (Experimental and Clinical Research Center, a joint cooperation between the Charité Medical Faculty and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, (MDC)) and her research group made this discovery in collaboration with Professor Robert H. Shoemaker of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, Maryland. Plans are already underway with Professor Peter M. Schlag (Charite Comprehensive Cancer Center) to conduct a clinical trial.
It is said that niclosamide silences mutant B-catenin gene which in tern would have activated gene S100A4/metastasin responsible for initiating distant spread called metastasis. Beta-catenin normally regulates cellular adhesion; disruption of which is a key process in cancer formation.
The researchers are planning for clinical trails.
Let us hope for the best.