Heart failure drugs may treat colon cancer

Medicines

A group of drugs for heart failure may also be effective against colon cancer, according to a new study.

Scientists in Sweden have found that cardiac glycosides, which are a family of naturally-derived drugs used to treat congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms, may be used against colon cancer as well.

As part of a larger study to screen and identify natural substances with activity against colon cancer, Jenny Felth, Joachim Gullbo, and colleagues picked several cardiac glycosides for further study.

They tested five of these heart drugs against laboratory cultures of human colon cancer cells and found that they were all effective, to varying degrees, at killing the cancer cells.

The sensitivity, however, was rather low when compared to that of other cancer cell types reported previously.

Several of the drugs also showed increased anticancer activity when combined with certain drugs used for standard chemotherapy.

According to the experts, these heart drugs may affect colon cancer outcome when used alone or in combination with conventional chemotherapy drugs.

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