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  Life   Health  16 Sep 2017  After-effects of chemotherapy nerve damage could be prevented by anti-jet lag drug: Research

After-effects of chemotherapy nerve damage could be prevented by anti-jet lag drug: Research

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Sep 16, 2017, 1:56 pm IST
Updated : Sep 16, 2017, 1:56 pm IST

Researchers are now planning clinical trials on humans following successful experiments on rats.

 Representational Image (Photo: Pixabay)
  Representational Image (Photo: Pixabay)

Chemotherapy causes long-term side effects in patients, and researchers believe that melatonin could help symptoms that affect most cancer patients after the treatment. 

Chemotherapy is a taxing treatment that not only drains the patient during, but often causes lasting nerve damage, making the slightest touch torturous. This is a common condition known as chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain or CINP.

Even simple daily activities like fastening buttons or walking barefoot, can cause pain that can persist even after the cancer is cured.

But scientists claim this can be eradicated using a melatonin supplement, given to aid sleep after long journeys.

Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the brain. 

It helps control sleep and wake cycles, and is found in very small amounts in meats, grains, fruits, vegetables as well as in supplements.

The hormone blocked the harmful effects of chemotherapy in the nerves of lab animals.

Professor Helen Galley, from the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, said, "These results are promising, especially as melatonin treatment is known to be safe in other conditions", the Sun reported.

Researchers are now planning clinical trials on humans following successful experiments on rats.

Experts say the findings may lead to better treatments for the symptoms, which affect almost 70 percent of patients.

The study was co-headed by Dr Carole Torsney from the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Integrative Physiology, who said to the Sun, "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 by protecting nerve cell mitochondria."

Tags: cancer, chemotherapy, melatonin, edinburgh, aberdeen