'Stealth fighter' against cancer

August 27th, 2013
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Health News

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The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, an institution with which I am intimately familiar (and blog readers soon will be, too), is among the cutting-edge medical research facilities in the country, if not the world, on par with the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

A recent study by Clinic doctors discovered that a protein in HDL cholesterol, the "good" kind, may help inhibit tumors and fight existing ones.

According to the study, a compound known as apolipoprotein A1, or apoA1, was found to deter atherosclerosis and act like a "Liquid Drano" on plaque building up on blood vessel walls. The study also discovered that mice with the apoA1 protein were more resistant to tumor growth. Direct injection of the protein into mice with existing tumors often inhibited growth and fought the spread of cancer.

From the Clinic research:

Like a stealth fighter, apoA1 acts indirectly to fight cancer. It alters the immune system, creating an unfavorable environment for tumor growth. It actually alters the actions of certain types of white blood cells (key players in the immune system) from pro-tumor to anti-tumor.

The study was led by Dr. Stanley Hazen, PhD, section head of Preventive Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute and chair of Cellular & Molecular Medicine at the Lerner Research Institute.

Said Hazen:

“This is another example of where research in one field can yield exciting new discoveries that could benefit an entirely new pool of patients.”†

See the report by the Clinic here.

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†From the research in one field and discovery in another department: Most people probably know the story of how researchers were testing drugs intended to treat hypertension and angina, when it was discovered that the medicines had an effect on helping men with erectile dysfunction. And then bippity boppity boo ... we got Sildenafil, better known as Viagra (and a slew of similar drugs flooding sporting events with relentless ads). That's also why the ads carry all those warnings about heart risks and people taking nitrates for chest pain.

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