Tumour pills could combat high BP, save millions from heart attacks, stroke
Cancer drugs could combat high blood pressure, leading to an alternative treatment for the condition that affects millions, and causes heart attacks and strokes.
The find has been hailed as a ‘real advance’ as current hypertension medications frequently cause intolerable side effects including anemia, constipation and dizziness.
Certain cancer drugs work by cutting off tumors’ blood supply, which results in reduced blood pressure and therefore could offer a potential treatment for hypertension.
Lead author Dr. Anton Wellstein from Georgetown University Medical Centre in Washington, United States (U.S.), said: “It is rare that a single class of drugs can be used for such different conditions, but that is what our study strongly suggests.
“The finding could offer a real advance in hypertension treatment because although a number of high blood pressure drugs are now available, they work by different mechanisms that are not suited for all patients.”
The researchers found a certain protein, known as FGFBP1, regulates the activity of substances that promote cell growth, including in cancers.
Certain people have a mutation in the gene that produces this protein, which causes it to be present in excessive amounts. Such individuals often have high blood pressure.
The researchers over expressed the gene for FGFBP1 in mice, which caused their blood pressure to skyrocket.
This is thought to have occurred as the gene makes the animals’ blood vessels more responsive to a hormone, known as angiotensin II, which causes them to constrict, leading to hypertension.
The findings were published in the journal Hypertension.
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