Cancer treatments may be effective against uncontrollable immune infection responses
The cancer medications are called topoisomerase 1 (top1) inhibitors. The inhibitors may protect the body from an overwhelming immune response that can happen as the body tries to fight an infection. This reaction occasionally causes sepsis, which is a bacterial condition.
Sepsis kills approximately 500,000 U.S. citizens each year. This condition causes organ failure, tissue damage and sometimes death. Any person who has an infection can have sepsis, but it is particularly prevalent in people who have weakened immune systems, such as babies, the elderly, young children and people who have chronic illnesses, severe burns and wounds. Research shows that certain viruses, like Ebola and influenza, may also cause sepsis in the body.
The researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York used laboratory experiments in mouse studies. The top1 inhibitors were administered in small doses. The goal was to reduce the body’s over-exuberant inflammatory response to the body’s battle against the infection.
The study shows that top1 has an enzyme that triggers the body’s genes responsible for a strong inflammatory response. Stopping this enzyme from working may efficiently stop sepsis from developing.