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Mayo Clinic study shows Parkinson's disease drug might work in cancer patients
Date:3/13/2008

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A study published in the March 13 online issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that dopamine, a drug currently used to treat Parkinsons disease and other illnesses, also might work in cancer patients. The study, which was done in mouse and laboratory models, shows that dopamine could possibly prevent new blood vessels from growing and as a result, slow cancer progression.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates movement and affects behavior. In its synthetic form, dopamine is used to treat heart attack victims, Parkinsons disease and pituitary tumors. But it wasnt known until now that dopamine worked by blocking the growth of new blood vessels (a process called angiogenesis).

Researchers now can test this concept in solid tumors where angiogenesis plays a critical role in the growth and progression of these cancers," says Sujit Basu, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic scientist who conducted this study with Partha Sarathi Dasgupta, Ph.D., a scientist with the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in Calcutta, India.; and, Debanjan Chakroborty, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry at Mayo Clinic and CNCI.

Sometimes new drugs may not be the answer. We looked instead at a novel use for an established product and have found very promising results, Dr. Basu says.

The study has not been replicated in humans, but the results are encouraging, he says.

Dr. Basu has been studying the role of dopamine in cancer for years, and was credited with the initial discovery that dopamine can block new blood vessel growth. His current study is based on mouse and laboratory models of sarcoma -- a malignant tumor affecting soft tissues. The research is the first report that dopamine has a role in cancers use of endothelial progenitor cells to provide a supply line of nourishing blood, Dr. Basu says. These cells, a form of stem cells, are released by bone marrow into the blood s
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Contact: Amy Reyes
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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