Navigate Up
UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Manager
Telephone: 412-623-4701 or 412-586-9773

Director
Telephone: 412-586-9777
 

 

 

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Experimental Drug Could Protect Some Cancer Patients from Radiation Side Effects, UPCI Researchers Find

MIAMI BEACH, Oct. 3, 2011  A drug under development at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine could protect the cells of Fanconi anemia patients from damage caused by radiation treatment for head and neck cancers, a new study suggests.  Results of the study will be presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology annual meeting in Miami Beach.

The study, led by Joel Greenberger, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Pitt, showed that the drug, JP4-039, offered radioprotection in human Fanconi anemia cell lines by “soaking up” the free radicals that kill human cells.

“Clinicians recently discovered that patients with Fanconi anemia are susceptible to head and neck cancers,” Dr. Greenberger said.  “However, they can’t receive the drugs and radiation therapy they need because their immune systems are incredibly sensitive to these treatments.  We tested JP4-039 in Fanconi anemia cell lines and found that the cells were protected from radiation-induced damage. Our next step is to move forward with testing in animal models.”

Fanconi anemia is a rare, inherited blood disorder that prevents the bone marrow from making enough new blood cells for the body to work normally.  Patients with Fanconi anemia have a higher rate of leukemia and other forms of cancer than people who don’t have it.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com