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UCLA Study Finds Antidepressant Drug May Help Fight Cancer – NBC Los Angeles

The results of a study released Thursday by UCLA show that the classes of drugs commonly prescribed to treat depression bring other health benefits by helping the immune system attack cancer. It suggests that there is a possibility.

According to researchers, a class of drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) work by increasing levels of serotonin, the “happiness hormone” in the brain.

“MAOIs have not previously been associated with the immune system’s response to cancer,” said Lili Yang, senior author of the study and a member of UCLA’s Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. I am.

“Especially exciting is that it’s a very well-studied and safe class of drugs, so diverting it for cancer isn’t as difficult as developing a completely new drug.”

The findings are reported in two papers published in the journal Science Immunology and Nature Communications.

Recent advances in understanding how the human immune system naturally seeks out and destroys cancer cells, and how tumors try to avoid the reaction, are new cancer immunotherapy, fighting cancer. It has led to drugs that increase the activity of the immune system.

“To develop a new cancer immunotherapy, Yang et al. Compared the immune cells of mouse melanoma tumors with those of cancer-free animals. The immune cells that had infiltrated tumors were monoamine oxidase A. , Or had a much higher activity in a gene called MAOA. The corresponding protein in MAOA, called MAO-A, regulates cellotonin levels and is a target for MAOI drugs. “

“For a long time, people have theorized the crosstalk between the nervous and immune systems and their similarities,” said UCLA’s associate professor and member of microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics. One Yang said. Of the UCLA Johnson General Cancer Center.

“Therefore, it was exciting to find that MAOA was very active in these tumor-infiltrating immune cells.”

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