Researchers have identified a new way of blocking the spread of cancer. Calcium channel blockers, which are used to lower blood pressure, block breast and pancreatic cancer invasion by inhibiting cellular structures.By screening already approved drugs, the team in University of Turku has discovered that calcium channel blockers can efficiently stop cancer cell invasion in vitro. Cancer kills because of its ability to spread throughout the body and form metastases. Therefore, developing drugs that block the ability of cancer cells to disseminate is a major anti-cancer therapeutic avenue. Identification of anti-hypertension drugs as potential therapeutics against breast and pancreatic cancer metastasis was a big surprise. The targets of these drugs were not know to be present in cancer cells and therefore no one had considered the possibility that these drugs might be effective against aggressive cancer types.
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