Diabetes: 100 Year Old Drug Suramin Being Repurposed To Treat Diabetic Foot Ulcers
: According to medical researchers from the University of Buffalo, a century old drug used to treat sleeping sickness, could be been repurposed to fight oral mucositis and diabetic foot ulcers. https://inventions.arizona.edu/technologies/ua18-037_advanced-engineered-formulations-of-suramin-microparticles-and-nanoparticles-for-drug-delivery-and-applications-therein
The recent breakthrough research led by the study team from the University of Arizona with the support of Dr Keith Kirkwood, DDS, Ph.D., Centennial Endowed Chair and professor of oral biology in the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, has the potential to benefit thousands of patients whose current healing options are either partially effective or painful and invasive.
Dr Kirkwood, whose main research focuses on oral cancer progression said,
"Our early studies with Suramin to reduce the severity of oral mucositis have been promising. The current challenge is to develop novel topical delivery strategies that could be taken into the clinical stage."
Typically oral mucositis or ulcers and sores of the mouth and throat is a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation in patients with head and neck cancer.
Roughly about about 40% of patients who receive chemotherapy and nearly all patients who receive radiation develop oral mucositis, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
This side effect is riddled with symptoms, such as trouble breathing, swallowing and eating, as well as intense pain. If left untreated, these sores can lead to life-threatening infections.
Individuals with diabetes face a similar problem: diabetic foot ulcers. These ulcers, the most common complication that diabetic patients experience, directly result in 85% of diabetes-related amputations, according to the American College of Physicians.
Significantly, suramin, the researchers discovered, is effective for wound healing and well-equipped to meet the needs of diabetic and cancer patient populations. The researchers have begun to commercialize the medication in a series of easy-to-use, topical creams, ointments and gels.
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