URMC Researchers Find Drug That Shows Promise in Easing "Mental Fog" From Cancer Treatment

Sep 18, 2013

Credit www.urmc.rochester.edu

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center say they have discovered a possible antidote to the mental fogginess associated with one of the oldest and most widely prescribed breast cancer medications, tamoxifen. 

The finding involves an existing drug compound, known as AZD6244, that appears to counteract or rescue brain cells from the adverse effects of the breast cancer drug. 

Mark Noble, director of the University of Rochester's Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute says "What is quite striking about this drug is that it not only protects the cells of the brain, but it does not protect cancer cells. From the work of others and some indications from ourselves, it may even make cancer cells more susceptible to therapy."

Noble says if clinical trials are successful, the medication could help patients who suffer short-term memory loss  and trouble concentrating. He says some experience symptoms that are long-term and can lead to job loss and depression.