Clinical Trail - Effectiveness of antibiotic in Breast Cancer

Release Date: 19-Sep-2019

To prevent the reoccurrence of the cancer, antibiotics are studied by the researchers. Recently, clinical trail of Doxycycline was performed by the researchers in prevention of reoccurrence of cancer after surgery. An oral dose of antibiotic is given to the patient, from 14 days before the surgery Breast. This results in the reduction of cancer stem cell, which is responsible for the reoccurrence of the cancer.   


A small trail at the University Hospital in Pisa, Italy with about 15 Patient is performed. This trail is giving hope for the efficacy of cheap, over-the-counter drugs being used along with standard treatments to prevent cancer relapsing. Doxycycline is one of the most commonly-prescribed antibiotics, effective in treating pneumonia, sinusitis, chlamydia, syphilis, cholera and Lyme disease.


The research was reported in the journal Frontiers in Oncology. It was led by Professors Michael Lisanti and Federica Sotgia at the University of Salford and supported by the Healthy Life Foundation, the Pisa Science Foundation and the Foxpoint Foundation.


According to Lisanti, We have very few FDA-approved drugs to target and reduce cancer stem cells, so to find that a drug that is effective, readily-available and costs just 10 pence per patient per day and is highly significant, particularly as around two-thirds of cancer deaths occur due to recurrence after initial treatment.


The trail involves administration of doxycycline into the 9 patients and 6 patients is treated as control group. Immuno-histochemical analysis was performed with biomarkers of "stemness" (CD44, ALDH1), mitochondrial mass (TOMM20), cell proliferation (Ki67, p27), apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3) and neo-angiogenesis (CD31). After that, analysis was performed on the pre-operative and surgical specimen.


The tumor samples of Post-doxycycline shows a significant decrease in CD44, which is about 17.65% and 66.67%, in 8 out of 9 patients. Only one patient shows a rise in CD44, by 15%. The response rate of overall trail is about 90%. Similar results were also observed in the experiment with another stemness marker known as ALDH1.


Lisanati also said that our ability to treat cancer can only be enhanced by utilizing drugs that are not only cheap but also widely available. Since Doxycycline first became clinically available in 1967, its anti-cancer activity has been right under our nose, for more than 50 years.

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