Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have discovered that the common breast cancer drug tamoxifen can boost the performance of white blood cell in both lab experiments and in mice.
Lead researcher and pharmacy professor Dr. Victor Nizet said the discovery was very important. In a statement, he pointed out that with the growth of threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA, the development of new antibiotics has slowed down. The study results have shown the value of taking a fresh look at known medicines to know whether they are affective for illnesses that have no cure or not. He added that since 1977 that may have a cure for MRSA.
Nizet said the medicine cabinet is needed to be opened and they should take a closer look at the potential infection-fighting properties of other drugs that are already called safe for patients.
Nizet added, “Through this approach, we discovered that tamoxifen has pharmacological properties that could aid the immune system in cases where a patient is immunocompromised or where traditional antibiotics have otherwise failed”.
While working the drug Tamoxifen targets the body’s estrogen receptors. Nearly 80% of all breast cancers grow responding to the hormone estrogen, so the discovery of a way to block the estrogen production of the body is important for cancer treatment. However, the drug is also helpful in the production of molecules in the body that help in regulating a kind of immune cell called neutrophils, which travel to an infection in the body and overcome the attacking microorganism.