London: Scientists have developed new drugs to tackle cancer which could not only stop bone damage but also repair it.
Researchers at the University of Sheffield are conducting a ground breaking research programme developing new drugs to tackle myeloma.
Myeloma is a cancer of the white blood cells that causes bone marrow and renal failure, as well as debilitating bone disease.
"As well as eventually being fatal, myeloma causes substantial pain and loss of mobility. We hope to significantly improve current treatments by testing a range of new compounds which can stimulate the bone formation process and help regrowth of healthy bone," Senior Clinical Lecturer in Haematology, Andrew Chantry said.
Despite often successful chemotherapy, patients relapse and life expectancy after diagnosis for older patients is three and a half years.
"We believe that relapse happens because a certain percentage of myeloma cells are able to lie dormant and avoid treatment. If we can detect how these cells are distinct from other myeloma cells, we can use combinations of recently introduced chemotherapy drugs to target them," Chantry said.
"This project directly addresses both the need to eradicate those cancer cells which can avoid standard chemotherapy and the need for drugs to target the devastating bone disease caused by myeloma," Chris Bunce, Research Director at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research said.
"If this laboratory research is successful, it will pave the way for clinical trials in patients. It has the potential to decrease suffering and take strides towards establishing a cure for the disease," he added.