Injuries of the spinal cord may be treated with a cancer drug

A study, conducted on mice, found that certain drugs, developed for cancer treatment, can be used for treatment of spinal cord injuries. The name of this drug is Nutlins. Scientists noticed that mice treated with this drug, regain movement more than untreated mice. The study was conducted by the Imperial College London researchers. They announced that the next step is testing on rats. If the test are promising, they will start testing on humans, within 10 years.

Because it is very hard, almost impossible, to make spinal nerves regrow, these injuries are permanent. Those patients have problems feeling and moving body parts below the injury. Prof Simone di Giovanni from the Imperial College London, said that they find a mechanism that is responsible for nerve regeneration. These drugs were also safe in the cancer trials.
This drug, stopped several proteins that affect on nerve regeneration. As aforementioned, these drugs were used for cancer treatment, but they also help nerves grow again. 75% of mice treated with these drugs were able to regain movement and feel. They are able to walk and climb on a ladder.

 On the other side, mice that haven’t received this treatment, were unable to move and they show slightly recovery. The reason why spinal cord injuries are very serious is because spinal cord nerves don’t regenerate like limb nerves. Because of this, this is a permanent injury. Prof Simone di Giovanni also said that they are just beginning to understand how this really works. But they will continue trials and hopefully someday, people with spinal cord injuries will be able to walk and move again.

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