It is common for physicians to prescribe antibiotics to overcome a bacterial infection. In addition, antibiotics are effective to heal a cut that may become infected if not treated. However, prescribing antibiotics for cancer treatment is not very common. Although, antibiotics have been used since 1950s to treat cancer, the side effects prohibit long-term use to treat the illness.
Modified antibiotic for cancer treatment
Amongst the various antibiotics that are available for treating cancer, Geldanamycin and its modified version 17AAG are appearing promising. Research has shown that these antibiotics are effective to eliminate several types of cancers during lab studies. However, the use of these medications is limited due to severe side effects, which is mainly failure of normal liver functioning.
New research under progress to curtail the side effects
The Van Andel Research Institute has been conducting further research to find the cause of the severe side effects seen in patients who are treated with Geldanamycin and 17AAG to help treat different types of cancers. The researchers recently published that the further studies have shown the reason of the severe side effects seen in patients. The scientists have identified the possible explanation to show how these antibiotics work within our systems to cause the liver damage. According to Joseph Schlessinger, who is the Chairman of Pharmacology and a professor at Yale School of Medical, the identification of the cause of side effects will provide new and significant information about how these medications can be used for treating cancer.
Potential implications of the medications
When the drug Geldanamycin was first discovered, there was much interest in its usage at the preclinical stage. However, the drug was not prescribed to patients during the cancer treatment therapy because Geldanamycin was found to be very toxic. Therefore, a derivative of the drug 17AAG was developed to reduce the toxicity of the drug. This new derivative is under clinical research to its potential implications to treat cancer. Initially, the medication generated much interest because the use of Geldanamycin resulted in the degradation of the onco-proteins, which is a vital protein that is targeted in the tumor cells. The new research that promises to reduce the drug’s toxicity will assist in overcoming its side effects and holds immense potential in being used as an important component of the cancer treatment. According to George Vande Woude, any possible reduction of the toxicity of Geldanamycin and 17AAG will be significantly beneficial to treat various kinds of cancer.