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Altitude sickness drug may slow brain tumour growth: Study

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

A drug used to treat altitude sickness, glaucoma, epilepsy, and may also help patients with a live longer, according to a study.

The drug, acetazolamide, sold under the trade name Diamox, is "cheap to make, easy to take and has limited side effects," said Bahktiar Yamini, a at in the US.

The most common side effect of Diamox is a when drinking something carbonated, according to the study published in the journal Science Translational

The most frequently used for is a drug called temozolomide (TMZ). However, not all patients respond to this drug. Median survival with this is about 14 months.

acts by damaging DNA in ways that can kill cells. But some cells are able to block or repair this type of DNA damage. This limits the drug's impact.

The researchers found that most patients with high levels of a protein called BCL-3 (3) were unresponsive to the beneficial effects of

BCL-3 cells from damage by activating a protective enzyme known as carbonic anhydrase II.

Acetazolamide, however, is a It can restore TMZ's ability to kill tumour cells. Adding acetazolamide to TMZ enabled mice with to survive longer.

"We tested this combination treatment strategy in several animal models," Yamini said.

It cured some of them. Others had a 30 to 40 per cent increase in survival time, researchers said.

When Yamini and colleagues looked at BCL-3 level from previous human studies, they found that patients with lower levels of BCL-3 who were treated with TMZ survived longer than patients who had high levels of this biomarker.

"An important feature of predictors like BCL-3 is that they are informative. They can identify pathways to improve treatment response," the researchers said.

By examining those pathways, the researchers identified carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, such as acetazolamide, as a way to reduce resistance to temozolomide.

"Our data," they note, demonstrate that it is the "induction of CAII by TMZ that is important in modulating response to therapy."

Validating the use of BCL-3 to predict which patients will benefit from the use of temozolomide will require verification in a prospective randomised clinical trial, the researchers note.

They also suggest that repurposing acetazolamide along with temozolamide might be particularly effective in a subgroup of appropriate patients with that have high BCL-3 expression.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 16:35 IST
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