Temple researchers show targeted cancer drug may stunt heart’s ability to repair itself
Scientists for the first time have evidence showing how a widely used type of “targeted” cancer drug can be dangerous to the heart. Studying mice with the equivalent of a heart attack, Temple University School of Medicine researchers found that the drug sorafenib (Nexavar) – which inhibits proteins called tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs), and is used in kidney and liver cancer treatment – can interfere with heart stem cell activity, affecting the heart’s ability to repair itself after injury. The findings suggest that sorafenib and other similar drugs that target these kinds of protein receptors may raise the risk for heart attack for some cancer patients with underlying heart disease, as well as affect the heart’s ability to repair damage. Temple is home to the Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.