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Diabeted drug aids Platinum Chemotherapy Starting trials..


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Diabetes Drug Avandia Appears to Boost Platinum Chemotherapy in Fighting Cancer

Diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) dramatically boosted the potency of platinum-based chemotherapy drugs when administered together to a variety of cancer cell lines and to mice with tumors, according to researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The addition of Avandia to a platinum chemotherapy drug halted or shrank mouse tumors as much as three times more effectively than the chemotherapy drug administered alone, the researchers reported in the May issue of Cancer Cell.

If the drug combination has the same effect in humans, the researchers said it could improve control of ovarian, lung and other cancers which eventually become resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy. The combination might also be used for other cancers where platinum-based chemotherapy hasn't previously been effective.

"There's still a huge gulf between these experiments and human cancers," said Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, lead researcher. "But it's worked in every animal model of cancer we've looked at, and I think there's a fair chance it will help people."

Dana-Farber researchers are already drawing up plans for initial clinical trials of Avandia and platinum chemotherapy drugs in lung and ovarian cancer and sarcomas. The trials could begin sometime this year.

Avandia, approved in 1999 for use by patients with type 2 diabetes to help control blood sugar levels, enhances insulin receptors' sensitivity in diabetics whose pancreas secretes too little insulin. An estimated 5 million people in the U.S. take Avandia or a similar drug Actos (piozitaglone).

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