A breast cancer drug may be helpful in treating tumors in the pancreas. This was made clear in a study by Imperial College London, which determined that tamoxifen – indicated primarily to block estrogen receptors – would have a new role.
According to the research, the mentioned medicine is commonly prescribed for cancer patients with the aim of preventing the reappearance of the disease. However, experts say it may be effective to treat another condition in another organ: the pancreas.
The article, published in the scientific journal EMBO Reports, argues that tamoxifen is able to soften a protective layer that prevents drugs from penetrating and eliminating pancreatic cancer.
In this vein, the scientists emphasize that the drug helps the tumor to be at a disadvantage both to survive and to multiply.
The experiment, which was tested in mice with pancreatic cancer and cell cultures that simulated it, even allowed it to determine that this "debilitating" action could work for other types of solid cancers. The reason? Simple: the receptor to which it adheres is not exclusive to the pancreas.
"When we saw mammograms of women at risk of breast cancer, we noticed that fibrosis was drastically reduced in those taking tamoxifen. It made us think that it had a new mechanism of action, different from what we know," said Armando Río, principal investigator of the work. @world