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Bone-strengthening drugs commonly used to prevent osteoporosis could help protect against a type of blood cancer, it has been announced.
Researchers from the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Maryland said certain bisphosphonates were found to delay or prevent the development of leukaemia in mice exposed to radiation.
Lead researcher Alexandra Miller has been looking into ways to protect military personnel and astronauts from leukaemia – a common long-term side effect of radiation exposure.
Addressing the American Association for Cancer Research in Denver, Colorado, she said the compounds ethane-1-hydroxy-1 and 1-bisphosphonate could be a new line of defence for cancer patients susceptible to developing leukaemia due to their exposure to radiation during treatments.
Another drug under consideration is the experimental compound known as CAPBP, which has been likened to Roche’s Boniva or ibandronate.
The drugs were initially chosen for study because previous research suggested bisphosphonates may help prevent cancer from spreading to the bone. They were also shown to remove uranium from the body.
Copyright Press Association 2009