Antidepressants have been shown to be effective in fighting cancer
Scientists at the University of California Los Angeles conducted a study in mice and found the effectiveness of antidepressants in the fight against cancer. They reported the results of the experiments in the journals Science Immunology and Nature Communications .
For the treatment of depression, drugs from the MAOI group (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) are usually prescribed, which increase the level of serotonin, the “hormone of happiness”. But they can also have a beneficial effect on the body's immune system in the fight against malignant tumors. Scientists note that antidepressants are a well-studied class of drugs, and it is easier to repurpose them to treat cancer than to develop an entirely new drug.
As part of the experiment, doctors compared melanoma cells in mice and immune cells of healthy rodents and found a high activity of the MAOA gene. This protein controls serotonin levels and is the target of MAOI drugs. Scientists have concluded that the protein is associated with immunity aimed at destroying cancer cells.
The researchers also analyzed the clinical data of people with cancer, and it turned out that higher levels of MAOA gene expression in tumors are more likely to be fatal. Targeting MAOA with antidepressants has the potential to help treat a wide range of cancers.
Meanwhile, Scottish scientists have proposed to fight cancer with the Trojan horse method. They have created a drug that affects only diseased cells without causing harm to healthy ones.