Leukaemia Sufferers May Benefit From Antipsychotic Drugs



Once again, during my (virtually ongoing) reading of various medical journals, websites and magazines I stumbled across this piece of medical news which I thought to be particularly noteworthy.

Sufferers of a notoriously difficult-to-treat form of leukaemia may benefit from a fifty year old antipsychotic medication if research using zebrafish is to be believed. Perphenazine works by turning on a cancer-supressing enzyme called (rather boringly) PP2A, which causes harmful malignant tumour cells to self-destruct. This type of leukaemia, abbreviated to T-ALL is more aggressive than other types of leukaemia and has quite a poor prognosis, half of adults diagnosed with this type of cancer succumb to it.

Obviously, one major side-effect of taking Perphenazine would be the psychotropic effect also caused by the drug. This study paves the way for a new drug which targets this specific enzyme to be developed, (minus the psychotropic effects).

What I personally find so fascinating is that we are still very early on in the fight against cancer and that every day unlikely medications, such as this one, prove to be effective treatments for cancer. 

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