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Cancer treatment could be replicated for COVID-19: Australian research

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  • Post last modified:04/11/2020
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CANBERRA: Australian researchers have found that beta-blockers with effectiveness for cancer could potentially be used to treat COVID-19.

In a study published recently, researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) working with a team in Naples found evidence in animals that the beta-blocker Propranolol can help suppress the spread of cancer in the lung which has an inflammatory profile very similar to COVID-19.

Nirmal Robinson, UniSA’s cancer researcher, said that recent clinical trials have proven Propranolol’s effectiveness in treating cancer and called for clinical trials to investigate the study’s findings.

“Patients with COVID-19 suffer from many abnormalities, including inflammation, because the SARS-CoV-2 virus disrupts the body’s immune system. Beta-2 blockers could potentially reduce this inflammation and help rebalance the immune system,” he said in a statement.

“We believe the beta-2-adrenergic pathway should be more deeply investigated as a possible target to reduce the inflammatory symptoms related to COVID-19. The next step is to perform clinical trials to explore an alternative therapy to treat COVID-19, based on the lessons we have learned from cancer.”

According to researchers, Propranolol is commonly used to treat heart conditions, anxiety and migraine. Beta-blockers including Propranolol are medicines that work by temporarily stopping or reducing the body’s natural “fight-or-flight” response, reducing stress on the heart and blood vessels in the brain.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.