JUN 09, 2017 6:11 AM PDT

Hope For Patients With Lymphedema


It's hard enough having cancer, going through treatment without then having to endure painful swelling in the legs, hands or arms. It's called lymphedema and it's especially common in breast cancer patients. When lymph nodes have to be removed as part of treatment, the drainage system in the body is disrupted. Fluid is retained and with nowhere to go, limbs can swell. New research might have uncovered the underlying mechanism of the condition however.

In a study conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine, researchers looked at the molecular pathways of lymphedema finding that most patients had high levels of a protein called leukotriene B4 (LTB4). The drug ketoprofen, a painkiller, blocked this protein and prevented the fluid build up but has side effects. Another drug, that acts in a similar manner, Bestatin, has fewer side effects but is not approved in the US. Bestatin has been used for years in Japan as a cancer treatment. Clinical trials are underway to see if this treatment, focused on the molecular mechanism, can help cancer patients avoid painful swelling and tissue injury.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
DEC 30, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 30, 2019
Are Blue Animals Truly Blue?
Animals come in all sorts of colors, and while the animal kingdom has most of the rainbow’s colors at its disposal, there are a few exceptions. Some...
JAN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 14, 2020
How Much Do You Know About Jupiter?
Jupiter, recognized by most as the largest known planet in our solar system, is a particularly interesting place. So interesting, in fact, that NASA sent a...
JAN 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 27, 2020
How Dangerous is Radiation on Mars?
One of humankind’s most ambitious goals for the next decade is preparing to send astronauts to Mars for the very first time. Such a feat is projected...
FEB 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 02, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Solar Orbiter
The Sun is something you see every day when you look up at the daytime sky, but despite residing right in plain sight, there’s still so much about th...
FEB 03, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 03, 2020
Watch a Polar Bear Mom Scare Off a Bully So Her Cubs Can Eat
Polar bears realize that food can be scarce at times, and that’s a problem considering just how much they like to eat. In many cases, they find food ...
FEB 16, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 16, 2020
Drone Footage Shows a Hungry Blue Whale Lunging At Krill
Blue whales are the largest living mammals on Earth, capable of growing as long as three full-length school busses. As you might come to expect, large anim...
Loading Comments...