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Home Industry News Old cancer drug shows new potential as immune therapy

Old cancer drug shows new potential as immune therapy

2nd September 2013

Scientists have unexpectedly found that a cancer drug discovered in the 1960s could have new applications as a means of treating autoimmune diseases.

A team at Lund University have found that the drug Zebularine has the ability to subdue the reaction of the body's immune system in a targeted manner, without causing any unwanted side effects among animal test subjects.

This suggests that the compound could be used as a means of preventing the rejection of transplanted tissue, or to stop the body from attacking its own cells when affected by autoimmune diseases.

It is hoped that the next stage of this research will make it possible to teach certain cells in the immune system to selectively accept certain specific proteins using the Zebularine treatment.

Leif Salford, senior professor of neurosurgery at Lund University, said: "If this becomes a reality, I hope large groups of patients could be spared the lifelong treatment that is currently necessary to keep the immune system in check."

Therapies to prevent rejection are important to any patient receiving new organs such as livers and kidneys from external donors.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801632593-ADNFCR

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