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Treating Lung Cancer with Tricyclic Antidepressants?
A September 27, 2013, column in the online edition of FierceBiotech Research detailed the results of a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Using bioinformatic methods, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine identified two antidepressants as potential treatments for small-cell lung cancer (SCLC)—a poor prognosis neuroendocrine cancer with a five-year survival rate of only five percent. The antidepressant drug candidates included imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant used to regulate hormones suspected in causing mood disorders and promethazine, an antipsychotic and sedative (Antidepressants could provide new way to treat deadly lung cancer).
Experiments performed by the researchers showed that both imipramine and promethazine were effective in inducing apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in SCLC cells grown in mice as tumors and SCLC cells grown in laboratory cultures. The drugs showed effectiveness even when the SCLC cells had become resistant to traditional chemotherapy drugs.
Study co-author Julien Sage, an associate professor of pediatrics and genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine, said the drugs his team identified have advantages over drugs currently used to combat neuroendocrine cancers such as SCLC. One such advantage is the ability of the drugs to target multiple receptors at the surface of neuroendocrine cancer cells, which Dr. Sage speculates, may decrease a cancer cell’s ability to develop resistance to the treatment.
Encouraged by the study, researchers have begun clinical trials to test desipramine, a drug similar to imipramine, in SCLC and other neuroendocrine cancers.
Cerilliant offers Certified Spiking Solutions® for a wide selection of tricyclic antidepressants, their metabolites and stable-labeled internal standards. These certified solutions are suitable for a variety of uses from calibrator and control preparation, system suitability/tuning standards, and internal proficiency testing to isotope dilution methods. Our Certified Spiking Solutions® are produced and certified to the highest industry standards including ISO Guide 34, ISO/IEC 17025, and ISO 13485.

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