Navigation Links
Methadone Kills Resistant Leukemia Cells
Date:8/1/2008

Low doses of drug used to treat opioid addiction worked without toxic effects, study finds

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Methadone, a drug used to break addiction to heroin and other opioid drugs, appears to be a potent killer of leukemia cells, a new study finds.

"Methadone kills sensitive leukemia cells and also breaks treatment resistance, but without any toxic effects on non-leukemic blood cells," study senior author Claudia Friesen, of the Institute of Legal Medicine at the University Ulm in Germany, said in a news release issued by the American Association for Cancer Research. "We find this very exciting, because once conventional treatments have failed a patient, which occurs in old and also in young patients, they have no other options."

The findings were published in the Aug. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Methadone blocks opioid receptors that exist on the surface of some cancer cells. In tests on leukemia cells in laboratory culture, methadone proved as effective as standard chemotherapies and radiation treatments against non-resistant leukemia cells. Methadone also effectively killed leukemia that was resistant to multiple chemotherapies and to radiation.

Unlike some treatments, though, non-leukemic peripheral blood lymphocytes still survived after methadone treatment.

Researchers found methadone activates the mitochondrial pathway within leukemia cells, which switches on enzymes called caspases. These prompt a cell into apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Chemotherapy drugs use the same approach, but methadone activated caspases in sensitive leukemia cells, and also reversed deficient activation of caspases in resistant leukemia cells.

While the doses of methadone used to kill leukemia cells in this study were greater than those used to treat opioid addiction, the researchers have since found a lower daily dose of methadone to achieve the same effect.

While methadone can become addictive, the habit is much easier to break than being hooked on true opioids, Friesen said.

"Addiction shouldn't be an unsolvable problem if methadone is ever used as an anti-cancer therapy," she said.

Studies using methadone in animal models of human leukemia are beginning, Friesen said, and others will look into whether the agent is also effective against other cancers. Another research group has already found methadone induces cell death in human lung cancer cell lines.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about leukemia.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: American Association for Cancer Research, news release, Aug. 1, 2008


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Methadone and systematic follow-up: the best solution for managing chronic pain
2. Coronary Disease Dulls Cognitive Skills
3. Stanford researchers find molecule that kills kidney cancer cells
4. California Drug Rehab Program Launches New Life Skills Classes to Young Adults as Substance Abuse Treatment
5. Poor spellers with good phonetic skills are more often right-handed
6. American Heart Association Survey Reveals Americans Lack Confidence in Lifesaving Skills for Common Cardiac Emergency
7. Traditional herbal medicine kills pancreatic cancer cells, Jefferson researchers report
8. New Therapy Kills Human Leukemia Cells in Mice
9. Multiple Sclerosis Affects Childrens Cognitive Skills
10. Study by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Confirms Training With Vision Software Enhances Hitting Skills
11. Pot Plus Alcohol Kills Young Rats Brain Cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... ... Hight-Doland Insurance Agency’s new community involvement program which serves families of the ... Southwest Louisiana to help provide positive mentoring for local youth. Donations to this worthy ... Southwest Louisiana has been helping to guide the area’s youth for over 30 years, ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... cancer awareness in people across the United States. Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Turner is encouraging ... heed dermatology experts’ advice and focus on skin safety and health now and in ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... is transforming breastfeeding for nursing mothers. The company’s patented technology, The Smart Breastfeeding ... Today, the company announced that the technology is now available for purchase at ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... Francesca Loparco, Co-Founder ... her life forever with a same-day LASIK procedure at Christenbury Eye Center. ... Dr. Jonathan Christenbury performed her surgery the same day as her in-office consultation and ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Beverly Hills, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... comprehensive care that ex-supermodel Janice Dickinson needed following breast cancer surgery. In March 2016, ... in situ, a type of breast cancer that occurs in the milk ducts, according ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Forté Elements, LLC (Forté) is excited to announce the launch of its Mediceutical ... needs of recovery for a variety of clinical conditions. Founded in 2013, Forté spent ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160502/362548 Logo -  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160502/362547LOGO ... ... ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... 2016 Kalorama Information noted the 5 Most ... in a recent white paper.  The healthcare market research ... a growing market are among the top drivers of ... EMR 2016: The Market for Electronic Medical ... study of the EMR industry, and the report is ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... , May 2, 2016  While nearly three-quarters ... osteoporosis can have on their health, only about half ... according to the results of a new survey announced ... mark the start of National Osteoporosis Month, Hologic is ... which affects nearly 56 million Americans. Osteoporosis ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: