Repurposed drug for blood cancer patients

A drug commonly used to treat arthritis may help treat some blood cancers, a new UK study has found.

A collaboration between the universities of Sheffield, Oxford and Cambridge, had shown how methotrexate (MTX), a low-cost drug used for the treatment of a number of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, might have benefits for blood cancer patients with studies in fruit flies and mice.

The results of the study, which coincides with Blood Cancer Awareness Month, showed that blood cancer patients who were already taking MTX for another condition, exhibited fewer symptoms compared with patients who were not receiving the drug.

“Given the very low cost of MTX, this research could offer an effective therapy on a budget accessible to healthcare systems throughout the world,” said Dr Martin Zeidler, of the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield.

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