Medicilon Logo
search icon search icon language icon contact icon menu icon
Medicilon Logo
search icon close search icon language icon contact icon menu icon
Contact Us
Close Button
Back To Top
Online Message×
Click switch
Close Button
Medicilon's News information
News information

Blood Pressure Drug May Help Treat Skin Cancer

Page View:

A new study finds that carvedilol, a drug typically used to treat high blood pressure, can protect against the sun-induced cell damage that leads to skin cancer. Researchers serendipitously discovered the beta blocker’s cancer-fighting properties after making an error in the lab.

Medicilon boasts nearly 300 tumor evaluation models. At the same time, we are empowering innovative therapies to comprehensively evaluate and study immuno-oncology. We have completed model establishment and efficacy evaluation of immuno-therapies such as CAR-T, TCR-T, CAR-NK, oncolytic virus, antibody (monoclonal antibody, double antibody, polyclonal antibody, etc.), siRNA, AAV.



     Sherry Liang, a graduate student at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy, will present the new findings at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics annual meeting during the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting this week in Chicago.


    “What began as an experimental error led to an exciting scientific discovery,” said Ying Huang, Ph.D., co-leader of the research team with Bradley T. Andresen, Ph.D. “Our research could lead to developing a class of new cancer-preventive agents.”

Carvedilol’s cancer-fighting properties were discovered when a graduate student in Dr. Huang’s lab was studying whether carvedilol and similar beta blockers might increase cancer risk. The student inadvertently tested carvedilol’s anticancer effect rather than its ability to promote cancer, finding that carvedilol surprisingly showed some protective effects against skin cancer.


    The researchers then conducted experiments with cell cultures and mice to see if carvedilol could prevent skin cancer caused by ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, the portion of sunlight that tends to damage the skin’s top epidermal layers and plays a crucial role in skin cancer development.

Related Articles:

White Wine May Increase Risk of Skin Cancer

Researchers Find Immunotherapy Treatments Better for Advanced Skin Cancer

Sunscreen Gene May Guard Against Skin Cancer


    The researchers found that carvedilol exhibited a protective effect in cultured mouse skin cells exposed to UVB and hairless mice given the drug after UVB exposure. The experiments showed that carvedilol protects cells against cancer-causing DNA damage and cell death produced by UVB. Hairless mice exposed to UVB and given carvedilol showed decreases in the severity and number of tumors that developed compared to those not given carvedilol. The mouse studies also showed that carvedilol delayed skin tumor formation more than sunscreen.


    The researchers also discovered that not all beta blockers show cancer-preventive properties, indicating that the cancer-fighting beta blockers likely act on molecules not yet identified. “We have preliminary data indicating that the cellular targets for carvedilol are not related to the beta-adrenergic receptors that are the commonly accepted targets for all beta blockers,” said Dr. Andresen. “They likely target unexpected mechanisms involved in cancer development.”

    The researchers aim to incorporate carvedilol or similar beta blockers into a skin cream or spray that could hopefully be used to prevent skin cancer from ultraviolet light exposure. The treatment would act on the skin without affecting blood pressure and heart rate, commonly altered by beta blockers. Understanding carvedilol’s mechanisms of action could also allow scientists to design completely new treatments that target these mechanisms without introducing cardiovascular effects.

Relevant newsRelevant news