Adding local anesthetics can improve treatment for incurable breast cancer, melanoma

A new study examined the effects of local anesthetics combined with standard chemotherapy for treatment of incurable triple-negative (TN) breast cancer, as well as melanoma. The results suggest that the combined treatment can lower the effective chemotherapy dosage, reduce side effects, improve tumor cell apoptosis, and reduce tumor cell migration.

Researchers at the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO), at the Center for Biotechnology, Temple University, Philadelphia, and the University of L'Aquila, Italy, and the University of Siena, Italy, examined the effects of two anesthetics, ropivacaine and levobupivacaine, on two different human cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231, triple-negative breast cancer, and A375, melanoma. This discovery may have important implications for the design of new drugs and therapeutic interventions for these recurrent and incurable tumors.

The findings were published September 20, 2019 in the Journal of Cellular Physiology.

Researchers are pursuing possible strategies for defeating TN breast cancer and melanoma by interfering with cell proliferation and apoptosis induction because these forms of cancer are notoriously difficult to treat. Building on the previously indicated effect of anesthetics in breast cancer cells and in other types of cancer in counteracting cell cycle progression, this study explores more in-depth how anesthetics may be used in cancer therapy, and the authors suggest further study is warranted.

Our studies point towards a possible way to counteract tumor growth and recurrence by interfering with cell cycle progression, apoptosis induction, and migration."

Annamaria Cimini of the University of L'Aquila, lead author of the study

The design of new protocols with regional anesthetics may provide new perspectives for breast and melanoma therapies reducing cancer recurrence after surgery by counteracting their metastatic potential and resistance."

Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD, founder and director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine

Journal reference:

Castelli, V. et al. (2019) Local anesthetics counteract cell proliferation and migration of human triple-negative breast cancer and melanoma cells. Journal of Cellular Physiology.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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