Also this week MedZine brings you the latest medical news on various medical specialisms. In this editorial three striking studies are highlighted. The first identifies new compound that can stop viral replication of flu viruses. The second shows that ipecac syrup can be effective against bladder cancer. The third study describes that chemotherapy against breast cancer can be injected through the nipple.
New compound that inhibit replication of influenza virus
If a pandemic flu strikes it is difficult to produce a vaccine in time. Drugs could be an alternative, but currently there is only one drug available, Tamiflu. In a publication in ACS Chemical Biology, Bauman and colleagues identify new compounds that are able to inhibit the replication of influenza virus in cell culture. These inhibitors target the cap-snatching endonuclease activity of the viral polymerase. This became possible after the unraveling of the detailed structure of the viral protein and the strategy is based on the approach used to develop drugs against HIV. Although this is not trivial, these new compounds can now be developed into a drug.
Active ingredient of ipecac syrup inhibits bladder cancer
Ipecac syrup was once used to induce vomiting in case of poisoning. Foreman and colleagues now show in a publication in the Journal of Urology that the active component of ipecac syrup, emetine dihydrochloride, inhibits the proliferation of bladder cancer cells. The emetine has little effect on healthy bladder cells. Moreover, the researcher found that emetine works synergistically with cisplatin, the standard treatment for bladder cancer. According to the researchers, these results suggest that a combined therapy of emetine and cisplatin–based chemotherapy may benefit bladder cancer patients.
Injection of chemotherapy against breast cancer via the nipple
Therapeutics against breast cancer can be injected via the nipple, this is shown by Krause and colleagues. The procedure, demonstrated on mice, offers direct access to the most common origin of breast cancer, the milk ducts. In addition, the local delivery of therapeutic agents into the breast, through intra-nipple injection, could diminish the side effects typically observed with systemic chemotherapy. The researchers have shown that this method has potential in mice spontaneously developing mammary tumors. The researcher have published the method in the Journal of Visualized Experiment, the only PubMed/MEDLINE-indexed, peer-reviewed journal devoted to publishing scientific research in a video format to ensure that the technique can be reproduced by other scientists and thereby can advance breast cancer research.
Sources: Eurekalert, ACS Chemical Biology, The Journal of Urology, and Journal of Visualized Experiments