Navigation Links
Breast cancer drug shows promise against serious infections
Date:7/20/2009

An FDA-approved drug used for preventing recurrence of breast cancer shows promise in fighting life-threatening fungal infections common in immune-compromised patients, such as infants born prematurely and patients with cancer. Some scientists suspected that tamoxifen has antifungal properties; now new research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that it actually kills fungus cells and stops them from causing disease.

"It's still early, but if tamoxifen, or molecules like it, turns out to be an effective treatment against serious fungal infections, it'll be a welcome addition to our arsenal," said Damian Krysan, M.D., Ph.D., author of the research recently published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center .

While serious fungal infections are generally isolated to patients with cancer, patients in intensive care units, patients with HIV or patients taking immune-suppression medications for chronic conditions, they are among the deadliest infections. Fungus is the third most common cause of blood stream infection in premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. The survival rate for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia is about 95 percent, but if they acquire a Candida albicans fungal infection, that drops to 80 percent. Bacterial meningitis has a 5 percent risk of death, but the risk of death for C. albicans blood stream infection is 20 percent.

Tamoxifen is given to prevent breast cancer from returning. It is given orally, and often for months at a time. Scientists had known that tamoxifen has anti-fungal properties in test tubes, but it was Krysan and his team, including Melanie Wellington, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics, that found that it kills yeast in mice with Candida infections. This is a crucial step toward developing tamoxifen or structurally related molecules for use in patients. At high levels about the same as those used, experimentally, to treat brain tumors tamoxifen reduced yeast levels by 150 fold. In fact, the drug caused the fungus cells to break apart and die (lysis), and it didn't allow the surviving cells to morph into their disease-causing state.

In the past 20 years, only one new class of antifungal drugs has been introduced and they must be administered intravenously, not orally, which presents challenges in outpatient settings. The most widely used antifungal drug that can be given orally slows the growth of fungus cells but it doesn't kill them, which means that patients whose immune systems are compromised may have trouble completely fighting off the infections.

"We don't have vaccines against fungal infections and the few drugs we do have aren't always effective," Krysan said. "We've got a lot more work to do to figure out whether tamoxifen could be used in high doses or whether it could be used in combination with other treatments, but we're excited about the possibility of giving doctors another way to help these critically ill patients."


'/>"/>

Contact: Heather Hare
heather_hare@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-2840
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Survival differences by race most apparent in advanced stages of breast cancer
2. MRI finds breast cancer before it becomes dangerous
3. Pathway links inflammation, angiogenesis and breast cancer
4. Drop in breast cancer incidence linked to hormone use, not mammograms
5. Breast cancer prevention practices vary across Canada
6. Eating junk food whilst pregnant and breastfeeding may lead to obese offspring
7. Acrylamide Wont Raise Breast Cancer Risk
8. New link between estrogen and breast cancer
9. Hypnosis Eases Pain of Breast Cancer Surgery
10. Discovery suggests location of genes for breast density, a strong risk factor for breast cancer
11. Longaberger Expands Horizon of Hope Campaign to Build Support for American Cancer Societys Breast Cancer Initiatives
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... proudly announces the launch of its 60-day free trial program for all of ... shipping make the offer a truly hassle free experience. , FlexiSpot’s unique desktop ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... With the number of pain management programs available for ... find the one that works for them. When an inventor from Suisun City, Calif., ... and decided to share it with others. , He developed a prototype for PRO ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Mediaplanet is proud to ... which covers the innovative treatments, therapeutic technologies, and revolutionized nutrition that are helping ... prolonging life 6 years in the last 3 decades,” says Dr. Valentine Fuster, ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... , ... Sourced from the Isbre Springs beneath the 5,000 year old Hardanger ... of just 6 ppm TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in addition to its excellent taste ... several ShopRite and FoodTown stores in NJ and received rave comments from consumers. , ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 ... ... digitally-enabled care journeys, announced today that it has raised $6.0 million in an ... inspired by Clarify Health’s conviction that patients and their caregivers can receive far ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... Nov 30, 2016 Research and Markets has ... Monitoring Devices 2017 - MedCore" report to their offering. ... , , ... the skull. In healthy individuals, it is circulated though the brain and ... where the amount of CSF surrounding the brain changes significantly. ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... their offering. ... Detachable coil embolization is a minimally invasive method ... embolization treatment of cerebral aneurysms is less invasive and requires less recovery ... wall of an artery in the brain. This area bulges in the ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Calif. , Nov. 30, 2016 Varian ... it was named America,s Most JUST Company in the ... and Forbes magazine,s inaugural "JUST 100 List." ... of the largest surveys ever conducted on attitudes towards ... months. This inaugural list ranks U.S companies against their ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: