Jet lag pills cancer hope
A DRUG used to ease jet lag could alleviate the ‘devastating’ impact of painful side effects from cancer medicines, Scots researchers have found.
Scientists believe a drug known as melatonin can prevent pain caused when chemotherapy damages nerves.
Experts say the findings could help scientists understand more about ways to limit painful side effects of chemotherapy.
Researchers from Edinburgh and Aberdeen universities focused on a condition known as chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CINP), which affects almost 70 per cent of patients.
The condition causes tingling and pain sensation to touch and to cold temperatures that can be severe enough to cause patients to limit chemotherapy.
A study with rats found melatonin could limit the damage to nerve cells if given before chemotherapy. But it did not alleviate pain when CINP had developed.
Edinburgh University’s Dr Carole Torsney, who co-led the study, said: ‘CINP can have a devastating impact on patients, and may limit chemotherapy doses, with potentially serious consequences.
‘These findings are very exciting and suggest that melatonin could prevent CINP.’