The first clinical study starts: methadone is being investigated as a cancer agent

As painkillers and heroin rate of methadone is well established in the world. But that is similar to Opium, artificially produced substance can be more still? Could you provide cancer sufferers new hope? Or club tents are notes on improvements in cancer patients exceptions that have nothing to do with the active ingredient?

For the first Time will now provide a clinical study, reliable answers to these questions. After part of the controversial debates among scientists of the German cancer has decided to help to promote a comprehensive therapy study at the University clinic of Ulm, with 1.6 million Euro. Be involved patients with colorectal cancer that has already formed metastases, and in whom chemotherapy is no longer working.

“The cancer cells of these patients have become resistant to these drugs,” explains study leader Professor Thomas Seufferlein, Medical Director of the clinic for Internal medicine I of the University of Ulm. “Our hypothesis is that methadone can make the Tumor sensitive to chemotherapy.”

The assumption is based on experimental researches of the chemist, Claudia Friesen, from the Institute for legal medicine of the University of Ulm. In 2008, she came to the conclusion that cancer of the blood cells die increased and their resistance to chemotherapy decreases if you are treated with methadone. Later research with cell cultures of other tumors seemed to corroborate the presumption.

“We want to study,” says Professor Seufferlein, “whether methadone can cause that, even in patients with advanced colorectal cancer, certain chemotherapeutic agents penetrate better into the cancer cells and thus more effectively able to act”. The emphasis is for the physician to “whether”: “I see open, the study is really a completely result.” In addition, the results would apply only for the Situation of an advanced colon cancer and not for other tumor types as well as for the specific chemotherapy agent and the specific dosage of methadone. “You can quantize the results, then neither the one nor the other in the direction of Generali.”

Methadone trial starts in 2020

The study is expected to start in the first quarter of 2020. Seufferlein expects in the longer term, each with approximately 30 patients in addition to chemotherapy also methadone, in comparison to others, which will be treated as has been customary with chemotherapy and, if necessary, with morphine or other painkillers. First reliable results could at the earliest be available at the beginning of 2022.

There was a rush to methadone and a wave of hope for a cure, it come in 2017, after Claudia Friesen reported on the television from your laboratory results and also in media cases highlighted had been in which cancer patients should have experienced by methadone-taking improvement. It was clear at the time that individual cases may not apply in medicine as evidence for the effectiveness of a still largely untried By means of.

Risk Factor Smoking

Approximately 19 percent of all preventable cases of cancer are attributable to cigarette. Smoking is considered the most important preventable risk factor in the development of cancer. Also, passive smoke poses a risk.

Smokers develop more lung cancer than non-smokers. Around nine out of ten men with lung cancer have contracted the disease, probably from Smoking. For women, there are six out of ten people Affected. In addition, there are correlations with many other types of cancer, such as oral cavity, esophagus, or larynx cancer.

So you lower your risk:

Stop with the Smoking. A stop Smoking is worth it at any age. The following applies: The earlier in the life is omitted, the greater the positive effect. Ten years after the last cigarette the risk of certain cancers, decreases diseases, such as the mouth, trachea and esophagus cancer. The risk to develop lung cancer, decreases in comparison to people who have smoked to the half.

Accordingly, was – and is today – the criticism of some colleagues of beading. In front of a dubious “methadone-Hype” warned about Professor Wolfgang Wick, Director of the Neurological University hospital Heidelberg and head of a research Department at the German cancer research center (DKFZ). If assumptions were discussed with no secured data in the Public domain, could patients easily get the feeling of already existing possibilities cut off, he said.

The long-term study in Ulm Wick welcomes: “The idea that you can reach there with an additional treatment a degree of chemo-sensitization, I think when colorectal cancer more plausible than in the case of brain tumors.” Desirable in it, so the Professor would be that appropriate research would be encouraged to brain tumors, as well as to other types of cancer stronger.

State funding for more studies?

One way or the other, the spirit of a new hope by the name of methadone is long out of the bottle: About 53,000 people signed a Petition calling for a further study on the effectiveness of the substance to be signed. In the Committee on petitions of the Bundestag, representatives of the Ministry of education and research stated that the Federal government was open to “the promotion of clinical studies on the use of methadone in cancer therapy over”.

Still there is no final decision on state funding. But with the decision of the non-profit Foundation, German cancer aid to promote the first clinical study of a potential methadone-and-effect in the case of colorectal cancer, a beginning is made. “We need more clinical studies to be able to check whether the growth of tumors or the formation of further metastases with methadone also is the case with other types of cancer is better to contain than to be alone with chemotherapeutic agents,” says Friesen. “Results in a type of cancer can not be transferred to others. Therefore, the state funding is urgently needed.”

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