The medication used to treat arrhythmias contains ouabain, a substance that can selectively destroy problematic, aging cells, including those that are formed during the development of cancer or due to the effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Nature Metabolism reported referring to a study.
According to RIA Novosti, as the body ages, the mechanism of getting rid of damaged or old cells becomes less effective. If the immune system fails to destroy them in time, they can degenerate and lead to the development of cancer.
Senolytics are a class of remedies that remove problem cells. For example, the drug Navitoclax is effective, but it also causes serious side effects - the death of platelets and macrophages in the blood.
Scientists from the London Institute of Medical Sciences drew attention to ouabain, which is part of the drugs for heart failure, atrial fibrillation and other rhythm disturbances (cardiac glycosides). The drug was tested on normal and aging cells of mice, and it turned out that it kills aging cells, including precancerous and affected radiation therapy.
If clinical trials confirm the senolytic effect of glycosides, they can be introduced into cancer practice very quickly.