Cold medicine shows potential as cancer treatment

A drug typically used to treat the common cold may improve the efficacy of bladder cancer treatments, according to a recent study published in Scientific Reports.

For the study, researchers introduced human bladder cancer cells into mice. After 45 days, they detected metastasized tumors in the lungs, liver and bone. Within the tumors, researchers identified an enzyme, aldo-keto reductase 1C1, which they discovered promotes tumor growth while simultaneously inhibiting the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Researchers then inoculated the mice with flufenamic acid, which subdued AKR1C1 and improved the efficacy of chemotherapy treatment. Flufenamic acid is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug typically used to treat common colds.

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"[Flufenamic acid] may have clinical significance in reversing drug resistance and suppressing metastasis, improving the prognosis of bladder cancer patients," concluded the authors.

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