ISLAMABAD: A discarded anti-cancer drug might be more useful in the fight against cancer than previously thought, say researchers from the University of Missouri.
Doctors used 6-Thioguanine, or 6-TG, as a chemotherapy treatment to kill cancer cells in patients with leukaemia for decades.
However, in recent years, many doctors have shelved 6-TG in favour of newer drugs.
Now, researchers found that 6-TG can not only kill cancer cells, but also works to change how certain cancer cells function, weakening those cells so they can be killed by other drugs.
“While 6-TG is no longer one of the more powerful cancer-killing drugs doctors have at their disposal, we found that it could still be useful to fight cancer in conjunction with other drugs,” said lead researcher Jeffrey Bryan.
Cancer cells often have epigenetic markers that cause genes to be either turned off or out of control.
This causes those cells to grow rapidly, become difficult to kill and ultimately damage the body, Medical Xpress reported .