A  A  A   Print
Cancer Drug May Be Helpful for Diabetes, Mouse Study Hints

Cancer Drug May Be Helpful for Diabetes, Mouse Study Hints

SUNDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The cancer drug Zaltrap (aflibercept) could help treat diabetes, suggest findings from research using mice.

Scientists say they've identified a molecular pathway (a series of interactions among proteins) involved in the development of diabetes, and also found that the drug can regulate this pathway.

Zaltrap is approved in the United States to treat metastatic (spreading) colorectal cancer and the wet form of the eye disease macular degeneration. The drug inhibits the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway, thereby blocking the growth of blood vessels into tumors and starving them of oxygen.

The researchers, from the Stanford University School of Medicine, identified a series of proteins that link VEGF inhibitors and blood glucose levels.

"We were surprised to find that this drug currently used in patients for cancer treatment had beneficial effects on diabetes in laboratory mice and could, potentially, in humans," Dr. Calvin Kuo, a professor of medicine, said in a university news release.

Scientists caution, however, that research with animals often fails to provide similar results in humans.

"Proteins involved in this pathway could be targeted for the development of new diabetes therapies," Amato Giaccia, a professor of cancer biology and director of radiation oncology, said in the news release.

The findings appeared online Sept. 15 in two articles in the journal Nature Medicine.

The researchers said there have been indications that VEGF inhibitors such as Zaltrap could influence blood glucose levels in people, but no human studies have been conducted.

"Anecdotally, there have been reports that diabetic patients who have been prescribed VEGF inhibitors to treat their cancer are better able to control their diabetes," Kuo said.

Three co-authors of Kuo's study are employees at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which makes aflibercept.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about diabetes.

SOURCE: Stanford University School of Medicine, news release, Sept. 15, 2013

 
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.