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Researchers Develop New Drug To Prevent Chemotherapy Side Effects

By Sam Lehman | Jan 23, 2013 09:33 AM EST

Cancer Treatment
Ohio hospital fights to continue 10-year-old Amish girl's cancer treatment. (NOT PICTURED) (Photo : Reuters)

Researchers at the Linköping University in Sweden have discovered a new drug that can prevent side effects from cancer treatment, reports Science Daily.

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The well-known process for the treatment of cancer, chemotherapy, has its own side effects which decrease the count of white blood corpuscles making the body more prone to deadly diseases. Researchers at the Linköping University started the study with a substance called "mangafodipir" that was used during the magnetic resonance scans in order to protect the healthy cells in the body.

"We found that the substance could affect the formation of oxygen radicals, which are a cause of side effects in chemotherapy," said Professor Rolf G. G. Andersson, main author of the study.

The study was initiated on cancer infected mice. The mice underwent chemotherapy along with mangafodipir during the process. This process did not decrease the white blood cells in fact it protected them and reduced the formation of the tumor. The researchers also noted an issue during the process as large amount of manganese in the substance was let out, which can be toxic to the brain. The release of manganese had to be controlled but not stopped because that was the main cause of the positive effect, the study suggested.

"We remade the substance and replaced a lot of the manganese with calcium. This yielded a more stable complex, which turned out to be even better at protecting cells, thereby increasing the anti-cancer effect," said professor Andersson, according to the report.

The study will be concluded by the end of this year with the process to be experimented on a larger scale which is currently under the supervision of Jan Olof G. Karlsson, a senior lecturer at Linköping University and a senior researcher at PledPharma AB.

The findings of the study are published in an online cancer journal Translational Oncology.

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