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Metabolic syndrome: Approved leukemia drug can help

Metabolic syndrome: Approved leukemia drug can help


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Ibrutinib has an effect against the metabolic syndrome

Every third person over 50 who comes from a wealthy country is said to be affected by the so-called metabolic syndrome - a condition that develops from several unhealthy lifestyle factors. Researchers have now discovered a drug that has already been approved for other diseases and can be used to treat the syndrome.

Researchers at the University of Trento recognized the potential of the drug ibrutinib to treat the metabolic syndrome. The leukemia drug has already been approved and could therefore be used quickly for treatment. The results were recently presented in the renowned journal "Nature Communications".

What is the metabolic syndrome?

The so-called metabolic syndrome has developed into a real widespread disease in a few decades. Particularly affluent countries like Germany are affected because the syndrome develops from a lifestyle that results from obesity, high-sugar and high-fat diets, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and / or triglycerides as well as type 2 diabetes.

What are the consequences?

According to doctors, this combination of unfavorable conditions is a real time bomb for the body. The risk of hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) and thus the risk of heart attack or stroke is greatly increased. The risk of developing chronic heart failure also increases. In addition, the type 2 diabetes risk increases significantly. In addition, increased uric acid levels increase the likelihood of developing gout.

Turning old into new

The researchers in the current study used an algorithm to analyze existing medications to check for which other diseases the active substances could be used. This technique is known as "drug repositioning" and has become much more effective thanks to the latest computer technology that can process huge amounts of data.

Find the needle in the haystack using an algorithm

“We tested the new algorithm to look for new therapies to treat metabolic syndrome - a disease that increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and is characterized by high blood pressure, obesity, and increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels distinguished ”, summarizes Enrico Domenici from the study team. "And we achieved promising results!"

Genetic changes due to the metabolic syndrome

The analysis identified the mutated genes that are responsible for the harmful changes in adipose tissue, in the liver and in the muscles as a result of the metabolic syndrome. In the next step, the researchers looked for approved active ingredients that can prevent these changes. They came across the drug ibrutinib.

What diseases is ibrutinib used for?

Ibrutinib was originally developed to treat completely different diseases. It is used, for example, in B cell tumors such as mantle cell lymphoma, chronic lymphatic leukemia and in Waldenström's disease. The researchers also test the drug for effectiveness against autoimmune diseases.

Ibrutinib limits the damage caused by obesity

"When we tested this drug in the laboratory, we saw that the devastating effects of obesity caused by a high-fat diet could be limited," says research director Maria Caterina Mione. The inflammation caused by the metabolic syndrome could be reduced by taking ibrutinib.

Expected availability soon

As the researchers explain, ibrutinib could soon be used against the metabolic syndrome, since it is an already approved drug and the tolerability and safety have already been proven. This could skip many long and complex phases of the approval process. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek

Swell:

  • Karla Misselbeck, Silvia Parolo, Francesca Lorenzini, and others: A network-based approach to identify deregulated pathways and drug effects in metabolic syndrome, Nature, 2019, nature.com


Video: Prof. Robert Lustig - Sugar, metabolic syndrome, and cancer (July 2022).


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