Beta-blocker shows cancer-fighting properties: The beta blocker carvedilol could one day be used in creams or sprays that prevent skin cancer - (ScienceDaily via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Study data presented at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics annual meeting indicate that the beta-blocker carvedilol can protect against skin cancer, ScienceDaily reported Monday.

  • "What began as an experimental error led to a very interesting scientific discovery," said study author Ying Huang, adding "our research could lead to the development of a class of new cancer-preventive agents."

  • In the study, the investigators examined whether carvedilol could prevent skin cancer caused by ultraviolet-B (UVB) in cell cultures and mice.

  • The researchers observed that the therapy had a protective effect on both cells and hairless mice exposed to UVB, specifically by preventing cancer-causing DNA damage.

  • The research team found that carvedilol treatment was associated with decreases in both the severity and number of tumours that developed in UVB-exposed mice, while the drug was more effective in delaying tumour formation than sunscreen.

  • "We have preliminary data indicating that the cellular targets for carvedilol are not related to the beta-adrenergic receptors that are the commonly accepted targets for all beta blockers," remarked study author Bradley Andresen, continuing "they likely target unexpected mechanisms involved in cancer development."

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