Anti-Diarrhea Drug Drives Cancer Cells to Cell Death

Written by Alex Reid
Posted December 28, 2020

Hi y’all!

Alex Reid here with your Monday roundup.

If you’ve been part of the Longevity Insider HQ family for the past few months, you should be very familiar with the term “autophagy.”

Autophagy translates into “self-eating.” And that’s exactly what happens to certain cells during autophagy… they destroy themselves.

At first look, that sounds like a terrible thing.

But how beautiful is it when those self-destroying cells are toxic or even cancerous!

Here’s the latest to cross my desk...

Loperamide, a medicine often used to treat diarrhea, has an additional function. 

Thanks to research from Dr. Sjoerd van Wijk from the Institute of Experimental Cancer Research in Paediatrics at Goethe University, studies show that the medicine induces cells into autophagy. In Dr. van Wikj’s own words:

Our experiments with cell lines show that autophagy could support the treatment of glioblastoma brain tumours.

Glioblastoma is a very aggressive (and lethal) type of cancer that shows only a poor response to chemotherapy. So doctors and scientists are constantly hunting for new therapeutic approaches.

It was two years ago that the team linked the medicine to its autophagy-inducing effects, but it wasn’t until recently that scientists uncovered the mechanics behind it.

While loperamide induces autophagy in glioblastoma cells, it doesn’t lead all cells to cell death.

Normally, loperamide, when taken as a remedy against diarrhea, binds to particular binding sites in the intestine and is not taken up by the bowel and is therefore harmless.

And that led to another discovery… loperamide also has treatment potential for other diseases too.

However, our findings also open up exciting new possibilities for the treatment of other diseases where endoplasmic reticulum (ER) degradation is disrupted, such as neurological disorders or dementia as well as other types of tumour.

Read more about this evolving story here.

To your health,

Alex Reid
President, Longevity Insider HQ