An exciting new research combining the laboratory science and the epidemiology conducted by the scientists at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found out that the men taking Digoxin, a drug used for Congestive Heart Failure and Cardiac Arrhythmias are at lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Digoxin is the drug derived from the foxglove plant and may help prevent or even treat prostate cancer.The study in its niche stage has yielded promising results with the good scope of further research in the field. The further research is due to understand the method Digoxin helps prevent prostate cancer.
Digoxin has the potential to curb the advancement of the prostate cancer by decreasing the amount of the protein HIF-1, responsible for promoting the growth of new blood vessels supplying more nutrition and oxygen to the cancer cells and enhancing their growth. Study establishes that the cardiac patients who take Digoxin regularly are at 25% lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who do not use this drug. Moreover those men who take Digoxin for over 10 years are at 50% lower risk of having prostate cancer than other men.
As the study is in its niche stage the scientists do not claim that the drug prevents prostate cancer nor do they favor the use of the drug to treat the prostate cancer patients. The study has to go a long way to establish the pathways used by Digoxin or similar drugs to prevent prostate cancer. The greatest advantage of using the current drugs for new medical conditions (known as drug repositioning) is the time saved in performing the long and rigorous safety tests for the drug. A team of scientists at John Hopkins are now planning to conduct a study on the prostate cancer patients to determine the effect of Digoxin drug on them. Let us keep our fingers crossed and hope for the encouraging future study results.