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Low dose naltrexone (LDN): Harnessing the body's own chemistry to treat human ovarian cancer
Date:7/12/2011

tion of whether modulation of the OGF-OGFr axis by LDN could alter the progression of established ovarian tumors. Moreover, the authors asked whether LDN can be combined with standard chemotherapy to invoke an even greater effect on ovarian cancer. A model of LDN in tissue culture was established that exposed human ovarian cancer cells to NTX for 6 hr every two days, resulting in reduced DNA synthesis and cell replication from vehicle subjected controls. When a short term exposure to NTX was combined with standard of care chemotherapeutic agents, taxol or cisplatin, an enhanced anticancer action relative to either drug was observed. The effects of LDN, but not taxol or cisplatin, could be reversed, indicating the non-toxic nature of LDN. Although favorable results with LDN alone and in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs were recorded in a tissue culture setting, this begged the question of whether LDN was effective on tumors transplanted into mice. Using nude mice with established xenografts of human ovarian cancer, LDN was found to repress tumor progression, reducing DNA synthesis and angiogenesis but not altering cell survival. LDN's repression of cancer progression was comparable to that of cisplatin or taxol. However, the combination of LDN with cisplatin, but not taxol, had an even greater antitumor effect than LDN or taxol alone. Moreover, cisplatin was toxic to the mice, as detected by weight loss. However, LDN in combination with cisplatin attenuated the toxicity of this chemotherapeutic agent, indicating that LDN was protective of the adverse events elicited by a chemotherapeutic drug. Finally, LDN was discovered to upregulate the expression of both OGF and OGFr, indicating that this endogenous opioid system, which inhibits cell proliferation, was activated by LDN.

The research team was comprised of Dr. Ian S. Zagon, Distinguished University Professor, and Dr. Patricia J. McLaughlin, Professor, along with a doctoral student, Dr. Ren
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Contact: Dr. Ian Zagon
isz1@psu.edu
717-531-6409
Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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