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Study: Tamoxifen Citrate Can Beat Superbugs In Breast Cancer Treatment

Study: Tamoxifen Citrate can beat superbugs in Breast cancer treatment

Tamoxifen is one of the leading breast cancer treatment drugs in the market today. Besides being able to block the actions of the female hormone estrogen, it can also help reduce the development of breast cancer in women who are highly at risk. However, it seems that breast cancer patients are not the only ones who will benefit from this drug as a new study suggests that Tamoxifen can also help eliminate antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbug”.

Eureka Alert reports that according to the research conducted at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in collaboration with the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tamoxifen can boost the immune system of the body, helping it fight better against superbugs. Best of all, the researchers have also noted that the breast cancer drug can also be used as a defense against the fatal methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus or MRSA to help reduce mortality rates.

Dr. Victor Nizet, pediatrics and pharmacy professor and lead author of the study, explains that as the resiliency of MRSA continues to grow, experts need to look for better and tougher solution that antibiotics to fight them off. This study encourages others to check if the safe-to-use and the effective drug can also be used to act as potential infection fighters. With this approach, the researchers were able to discover the other uses of Tamoxifen.

For a trial study, the team tested Tamoxifen on mice injected with MRSA, The Washington Post writes. The preliminary results showed that the mice had a third of a chance of survival than those who have not been given the breast cancer drug. While the team agrees that further studies are required before they are able to test it on humans, they believe it can inspire experts to do clinical trials in severely infection patients.

Dr. Nizet believes that their study can be a big step in testing more holistic approaches when it comes to infection and MRSA treatment.

However, Lab Manager adds that the administration of Tamoxifen for non-breast cancer-related concerns has two precautionary warnings. First of all, while it can be effective in fighting against MRSA, the outcome against other pathogens may vary as bacterial species evolve constantly to avoid neutrophil extracellular traps or NETs. Secondly, the production of too much NETs may be harmful to the health if taken without any infection to fight against, resulting to other diseases such as asthma and vasculitis.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications last October 13th.

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