Cancer drug shows promise for treating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
A drug commonly used to treat leukaemia is showing potential as a treatment that could slow the progression of the muscle-wasting condition, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy most commonly affects boys, with around 2,400 people in the UK affected by the condition. There is currently no cure and most patients are not expected to live past the age of 30.
Research led by Professor Steve Winder investigated a drug called dasatinib, which works by blocking certain chemical signals that stimulate the growth of cancer cells. They found the same drug will also switch off similar signals in a protein implicated in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). This protein, called dystroglycan, has a part to play in maintaining healthy muscle tissue.