New Drug May Treat More Than One Disease

First developed for rare genetic disorder, it may fight cancer, autoimmune diseases

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A drug initially developed as a treatment for a rare genetic disease may also prove effective in treating cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The drug tetrathiomolybdate (TM), created by University of Michigan scientists, combats copper. The drug was originally designed as a treatment for Wilson's disease, a genetic disorder that causes toxic buildups of copper.

But the scientists also found TM seems effective against tumor growth, fibrosis and inflammation.

Currently, TM is involved in nine Phase II clinical studies related to cancer. Researchers are also investigating the effects of TM on inflammatory fibrosis diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, cirrhosis, cystic fibrosis and psoriasis.

An update on TM research was presented Sept. 10 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in New York City.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about Wilson's disease.

SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, Sept. 10, 2003

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