While many in phamaceutical research focus on the next money maker, oncologist Mikhail Blagosklonny uses the opposite approach. He has devoted his career to developing an affordable treatment for cancer with less side effects than current treatments.
One drug he studies shows promise in numerous uses, including cancer treatment. Rapamycin, also known as Sirolimus and Rapamune, received FDA approval as an organ transplant rejection drug, among other uses. The drug’s basis come from a bacterium found on Easter Island that researchers first isolated in 1972. Originally used as an anti-fungal agent, the pharmeceutical community abandoned this use when Rapamycin’s immunosuppressive and antiproliferative properties were uncovered. Read more on templeofthecave.com.
Blagosklonny, a professor of oncology at Rosewell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, and Editor-in-Chief of Oncotarget, focuses his research on Rapamycin as a cancer and anti-aging drug. By anti-aging Blagosklonny refers to health longevity and disease fighting, not anti-wrinkling. The oncologist noticed that some cancers had a tendency to develop more often in older patients.
Rapamycin Current Uses
Rapamycin assists the body’s immune response to tumors and promotes tumor regression. Researchers have already discovered many other uses for Rapamycin, as well. Visit classroomvoices.org to read more about Mikhail.
Blagosklonny’s Further Research
- As an immunosuppressant, it helps transplant patients’ bodies not reject an organ transplant. Rapamycin exhibits less toxicity on the kidneys over long-term use than other anti-rejection drugs.
- It helps those with hemolytic-uremic syndrome, post kidney transplant in two ways. The disease combines anemia, kidney failure and low platelet count, leading to renal failure. Two treatment options exist: lifetime dialysis or a kidney transplant. Rapamycin helps the patient not reject the new kidney. It also helps the new kidney not develop the same disorder.
- It blocks the mTOR signaling gateway in the lungs. This is key in treating a rare lung disease, lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), that affects women of childbearing age. LAM causes mutations of the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex gene (TSC2) which activates the mTOR signaling gateway.
- As a coronary stent coating, it helps prevent re-stenosis of the arteries after a balloon angioplasty.
- As a suppressant for tumor development of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), it helps reduce existing tumors. Research studies show that discontinuation of the drug results in tumor growth or re-devlopment. The congenital disorder causes benign tumors in organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys.
- In cream, gel or ointment form, it treats facial angiofibromas, a disorder more than 80 percent of TSC patients also exhibit. While dermabrasion or laser facial treatments treat it cosmetically, Rapamycin, treats the development of the rash comprised of blood vessels and fibrous tissues.
Mikhail Blagosklonny recognizes that Rapamycin already has a multitude of uses beyond cancer. Despite a specialization as an oncologist, the doctor and researcher wants to uncover as many helpful uses for the drug as possible. To that end, he currently conducts studies of Rapamycin in relation to its potential to treat:
- longevity due to enhanced disease fighting capabilities. Examples include its ability to help elderly mice fight tuberculosis and improve immunological performance in elderly humans when a dose of Rapamycin preceeded their influenza vaccination.
- Alzheimer’s disease by preventing cognitive defects and reducing brain lesions in mice.
- muscular dystrophy. In mice given nanoparticles coated with Rapamycin, the mice exhibited a 30 percent increase in grip strength and increased cardiac functions.
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). In mice, it blocks and/or reverses the activation of mTORC1. That results in suppression of mTORC2.
Blagosklonny devotes his teaching, research and medical practice to finding an affordable treatment for cancer. He remains committed to discovering further use of Rapamycin for cancer treatment and treatment of other diseases.