Could antihistamines aid in fighting cancer?


For those of you that suffer from watery, itchy eyes and runny noses throughout allergy season, antihistamines are likely to be your best friend. But a new study finds the drugs may do more than combat hay fever; they could fight cancer, too.

The study team, including Daniel H. Conrad, PhD, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Virginia Commonwealth College, lately printed their findings within the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.

Antihistamines are medication accustomed to prevent or relieve signs and symptoms of allergic reactions, including hay fever, atopic eczema and responses from insect bites and hives. The drugs work by preventing the discharge of histamine – an ingredient created through the body that triggers watery eyes, itchiness, sneezing, runny nose and difficulty in breathing.

However the scientists discovered that as antihistamines get the job done, additionally they hinder the part of myeloid-derived suppressor cells – a kind of cell recognized to hinder your body’s capability to combat growths – meaning a brand new cancer drug candidate might be within the cards.

Antihistamines ‘reversed tumor-enhancing effects of myeloid-derived suppressor cells’

To achieve their findings, they examined two categories of rodents. In a single group, the scientists triggered a powerful allergic response by infecting all of them with a rodent intestinal helminth, as the other number of rodents had growths.

Could antihistamines also help fight cancer? Researchers found they reversed the tumor-enhancing effects of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in mice.

The allergic rodents were then injected with myeloid-derived suppressor cells and treated and among two antihistamines – cetirizine or cimetidine. The rodents using the growths were also injected using the cells but were only given the antihistamine cimetidine.

The researchers found that in the allergic mice, the antihistamines reversed the effects of the myeloid-derived suppressor cells. However, in the mice with tumors, the antihistamine not only reversed the effects of the cells, but also reversed the increased tumor growth that the cells normally trigger.

They also examined the bloodstream of patients with and without allergic reactions. They discovered that individuals with allergic reactions – who will often have a greater discharge of histamine – had greater amounts of myeloid-derived suppressor cells circulating within their bloodstream.

Based on the scientists, their study implies that antihistamines ought to be further investigated like a drug to focus on myeloid-derived suppressor cells.

Leaving comments around the team’s findings, John Werry, PhD, deputy editor from the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, states:

“Antihistamines may be one of the most commonly used over-the-counter drugs, but this report shows that we still have much to learn about their potential benefits.

It is certainly not yet time to prophylactically administer antihistamines for cancer prevention, but the more we learn about myeloid-derived suppressor cells, the more interesting these cells and their products become as immunotherapy targets in cancer. These new results suggest that we must be open-minded about seemingly distantly related immune mechanisms to examine.”

It isn’t just cancer prevention that antihistamines might be helpful for. This past year, Medical News Today reported on the study by scientists in the College of Basel in Europe, which discovered that a substance in antihistamines may reduce bad recollections.