This jetlag drug could ease chemotherapy pain
Asian News International
The drug, known as melatonin, appeared to prevent pain caused by chemotherapy damage to nerves. It blocked harmful effects on nerve health, the study with rats showed.
Experts said that the findings help scientists understand more about ways to limit painful side effects of chemotherapy.
Scientists from the Universities of
The study showed that melatonin given prior to chemotherapy limited the damaging effect on nerve cells and the development of pain symptoms.
In this study, melatonin did not alleviate pain when CINP had already developed, suggesting that its potential benefits could be as prevention rather than cure.
Importantly, melatonin treatment did not interfere with the beneficial anticancer effects of chemotherapy in human breast and ovarian cancer cells.
Findings also showed that melatonin reduced damage caused by chemotherapy to vital parts of nerve cells known as mitochondria. Experts say reducing harm to these cell energy centres could hold the key to preventing CINP.
CINP affects almost 70% of patients undergoing chemotherapy and can have severe impact on quality of life. Everyday activities, including fastening buttons or walking barefoot, can cause pain that can persist even after the cancer is cured, meaning that some patients are unable to return to work or able to carry out household tasks.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that controls sleeping patterns, although synthetic versions can be produced in the laboratory. Melatonin can be used to alleviate sleep disturbance but is not available in the
The study is published in the