Cancer drug duo could lengthen life, boost elderly immune system

| | July 24, 2018
Image credit: iStock
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Drugs that can lengthen life have long been a hallmark of speculative science fiction—many hope for an invention that could extend average lifespans well into the triple digits in the distant future. But the timeline of these drugs could be shorter than we think. A new clinical trial published [July 11] in Science Translational Medicine has found evidence that low doses of two existing drugs can boost the immune system of an elderly person, helping it fight common deadly infections, including the flu, with seemingly little to no side effects.

Two groups received different doses of the approved chemotherapy and immunosuppressant drug everolimus; one received a dose of the experimental chemotherapy drug dactolisib; and one received a dose of everolimus and dactolisib combined (both drugs were developed by Novartis). The fifth group was simply given a placebo.

Related article:  If we classified aging as a disease, would it change the way we treat it?

By the end of the year, all of the drug groups reported fewer infections than the placebo group. But the difference was largest among the people who took both drugs at once: They reported an average of 1.49 infections during the year, compared to the 2.41 infections reported by the placebo group.

There was even evidence that these drugs lowered the risk of high blood sugar and cholesterol as well as improved immune function.

Read full, original post: Two Cancer Drugs Found to Boost Aging Immune Systems

Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend