Opt for Cancer Drug to forgo Tuberculosis

May 18, 2018  Source: Ddu 155

More than one-quarter of the world’s population were constantly getting affected with the one of the world’s oldest and deadliest disease named Tuberculosis (TB). In spite of 6-9 months antibiotic therapy, it’s very difficult to treat tuberculosis. That’s why researchers throughout the world were trying to find the faster ways of cure.

In a new study, biomedical engineers from Duke University had found that the FDA approved cancer drug named Marimastat, which was a strong MMP (Matrix metalloproteinases) inhibitor, could effectively treat tuberculosis. Marimastat would improve the structural integrity of leaky blood vessels in tuberculosis granulomas, by which the antibiotics could easily penetrate and destroy the pathogens easily.

Xiling Shen, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University said, “Scientists have been focusing on the antibiotics used against tuberculosis for a long time; we thought maybe it was time to take a new angle by targeting the host’s response to the disease instead.”

Shen realized that in the same way tumors grow and metastasize, tuberculosis manipulates the granuloma in a similar way. Hence he concluded that in the same way MMP inhibitors support tumor vasculature to deliver cancer medications in a better way, the same trick would work for tuberculosis granulomas.

Shen then teamed up with a tuberculosis expert, Dr. David Russell at Cornell University in order to work on MMP inhibitors, in order to increase the effectiveness of frontline anti-tuberculosis drugs.

By editor