Personal Health

Researchers investigate the effect of methadone against cancer

As painkillers and heroin rate of methadone is well established in the world. But that is similar to Opium, artificially produced substance can be more still? After controversial debates about methadone as a possible cancer agents whose effect in the tumor is examined therapy for the first time in the context of a clinical study.

Scientists at the University hospital of Ulm to determine whether methadone in patients with advanced colorectal cancer is effective or not, such as the German cancer told help. It supports up to 2026-scale therapy study, with 1.6 million Euro.

In 2017, the media had sparked reports hopes that the addition of methadone to the death of anticancer drugs to tumor cells to leave. The adoption went back to the experimental researches of the chemist, Claudia Friesen, from the Institute for legal medicine of the University of Ulm. In 2008, she came to the conclusion that cancer of the blood cells die increased and their resistance to chemotherapy decreases if you are treated with methadone. Later research with cell cultures of other tumors seemed to corroborate the presumption.

Study aims to close the research gap

After the beading of their experiments, also reported in television and other media, accused her critics of a “methadone-Hype”. Emotional reports of patients, which should be thanks to methadone still alive, fuelled the controversy yet. It even went so far that Doctors who wanted to prescribe methadone as a therapy, has been accused to be from the pharmaceutical industry bought.

In the result, the Federal chamber of physicians stressed that there is on the effectiveness of methadone in cancer therapy to date, no reliable studies. However, more sophisticated reports about partially life-threatening side effects of methadone, which were published then, not able to contain the rumor, the Wirkverstärkung of the Opioid.

The study at the Ulm University hospital is now to provide reliable answers. Because patients are involved with the colon cancer that has already formed metastases and can hardly be chemotherapy responsive. “Our hypothesis is that methadone is what makes the Tumor sensitive to chemotherapy,” said study leader Professor Thomas Seufferlein, Medical Director of the clinic for Internal medicine.

Results alone for colorectal cancer, not for other tumor types

Methadone could possibly dock to cancer cells and to ensure “that the chemotherapy can penetrate therapeutics better in the cells – the drugs work so effectively,” said Seufferlein. The result should be openly examined.

In addition, the results would apply only for the Situation of an advanced colon cancer and not for other tumor types as well as for the specific chemotherapy agent and the specific dosage of methadone. “You can quantize the results, then neither the one nor the other in the direction of Generali.”

The study is expected to start in the first quarter of 2020. Seufferlein expects in the longer term, each with approximately 30 patients in addition to chemotherapy also methadone, in comparison to others, which will be treated as has been customary with chemotherapy and, if necessary, with morphine or other painkillers. First reliable results could at the earliest be available at the beginning of 2022.

The Chairman of the Board of the German cancer aid, Gerd Nettekoven, referred to a large public interest in the subject. “Therefore, we believe it is important to investigate the possible potential of this drug under clinical conditions,” he said.

Around 53,000 people had signed a Petition calling for a further study on the effectiveness of the substance. In the Committee on petitions of the Bundestag, representatives of the Ministry of education and research stated that the Federal government was open to “the promotion of clinical studies on the use of methadone in cancer therapy over”. Still there is no final decision on state funding.