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In metastatic colorectal cancer, an HIV medication slows the course of the disease.

According to findings published in Cancer Discovery, lamivudine, an HIV medicine that acts as a reverse transcriptase inhibitor, could lead to an unexpectedly favourable direction in the treatment of 25% of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

The clinical trial comprised 32 patients with advanced metastatic colon cancer who had progressed despite four rounds of chemotherapy.

The researchers discovered indicators of disease stability after the first nine patients were given a typical HIV-approved dose of lamivudine. The dosage was then increased fourfold, and additional 23 patients were given lamivudine medication, which was well tolerated. The researchers found that at the end of the experiment, 9 of the 32 patients, or 28 percent, exhibited illness stability or mixed response.

Over the last ten years, the first indications to this unusual medication trial have emerged in Ting’s lab and those of his partners. The researchers revealed that up to 50% of a tumor’s DNA is made up of “repetitive elements,” which were previously thought to be “junk DNA.”

The researchers discovered that colorectal cancer cells were susceptible to lamivudine in preclinical trials, limiting their capacity to migrate. The researchers also discovered that the medication caused DNA damage and interferon responses in tumour cells, indicating that the treatment provoked an inflammatory response. Despite the fact that it was not proven or analysed in this trial.
This type of therapy, according to the researchers, might prevent cancer or recurrence, or change a crippling metastatic disease into a chronic disease like HIV.

The researchers stated that they plan to start a larger Phase III trial using a three-drug reverse transcriptase inhibitor combination as their next obvious trial. They want to see what more they can do with other extremely active anti-retroviral therapy medicines.

In metastatic colorectal cancer, an HIV medication slows the course of the disease.

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