New research has shown that the antidepressant sertraline helps to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The substance acts on a metabolic addiction that allows different types of cancer to grow. This is shown by a study on cell cultures and lab animals performed by various research labs of KU Leuven. Their findings were published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Cancer cells use different biological mechanisms to stimulate their growth. In certain types of breast cancer, leukaemia, skin cancer, brain tumours and lung cancer, among others, the malignant cells produce large amounts of serine and glycine, two amino acids. This production stimulates the growth of cancer cells to such an extent that they become addicted to serine and glycine.
Release date: 17 November 2020
Source: KU Leuven