TZDs may prevent brain injury during radiation therapy

There is a small body of research out there that indicates that thiazolidinediones (TZDs) — specifically rosiglitazone (Avandia) — may inhibit angiogenesis. Without new blood vessels to feed fuel tissue growth, there is no tumor growth. There aren’t many researchers out there experimenting with these drugs, unfortunately, but new findings published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology – Biology –Physics indicate that pioglitazone (Actos) may prevent brain damage in mice undergoing radiation treatment for tumors, which could mean more studies looking at the effects of TZDs on cancer and its management.

The study involved young adult rats that received either radiation treatment equal to levels received by humans or a “sham” treatment involving no radiation. Animals in both groups received either a normal diet or a diet containing the diabetes drug.

Cognitive function was assessed a year after the completion of radiation therapy using an object recognition test. Rats receiving radiation exhibited a significant decrease in cognitive function, unless they received the diabetes drug for either four or 54 weeks after radiation.

The researchers are hopeful that the findings may allow clinicians to give higher doses of radiation. There is a strong correlation between higher doses of radiation and longer lifespans, but there has always been some reluctance to prescribe these higher doses for fear of damaging healthy, surrounding tissues.

[tags]Medicine, pharmacy, Actos, cancer, radiation, oncology, pioglitazone[/tags]

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