Malaria drug helps prevent liver cancer
With almost 4,000 people diagnosed with liver cancer in England, scientists have discovered that a cheap drug used to treat malaria can help prevent the disease and even shrink the already present tumours.
Chloroquine, a quinine derivative is an over-the-counter pill that is available easily with most pharmacists and travelers to countries with tropical climate are advised to have it with them as it can help them when necessary.
This pill which was solely used to treat malaria until now is found that it can also help prevent the occurrence of liver cancer and stop the growth of already established tumours while also shrinking them, by a team of researchers at the University College London. The new discovery has given a hope to thousands suffering from the disease and those who are at the risk of developing the disease.
Hepatology professor at the UCL Rajiv Jalan said in a statement, “I am very excited that we may have a potential way of stopping liver cancer. At the moment we can recognise those with cirrhosis of the liver who are at high risk of developing liver cancer but all we can do is wait and watch and we can only act when cancer actually develops.”
He has also expressed his idea that using this drug could be a good strategy to prevent liver cancer and also delay the progression of the disease in patients who are already suffering from it.
He further said that his counterparts in Asia are excited about it as Hepatitis is more prevalent in the region. Chloroquine has been used as an anti-malarial drug and also used in the treatment of lupus for several years and has been widely recognized as a safe drug.
There are almost 600,000 people affected with Hepatitis infection and so at the risk of getting liver cancer.