Barcelona (EFE) – According to a study published in the scientific journal Nature Metabolism, ranolazine, a drug currently used for heart disease, improves the effectiveness of current treatments for melanoma in mice.
These results were obtained in a multicentre study involving the biomedical research center Navarrabiomed in Pamplona (Navarra), the Institute of Neurology CSIC-UHM in Sant Joan d’Alacant (Alicante) and IRB Barcelona in the Catalan capital. as reported this Thursday in a joint statement.
The results of the study point to a therapeutic alternative to the treatment of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, which affects 16.3 women and 14.6 men per 100,000 people in Spain.
Ranolazine and its effect on cancer patients
The use of ranolazine, approved for use in humans and already used in clinical practice for the treatment of chronic angina pectoris, may lead to the development of future clinical trials to test and confirm its effect in cancer patients.
Melanoma patients in most cases respond well to therapy directed against one of the key genes for tumor progression, the BRAF gene, although they soon develop resistance to these treatments and the tumors grow again.
In addition, recent clinical studies suggest that these patients respond less well to immunotherapy.
The study provided in-depth knowledge of the role of fatty acid metabolism in the development of resistance to BRAF inhibitors and demonstrated the effect of ranolazine in slowing tumor progression.
Melanoma cells more visible thanks to the drug
The use of this drug allows melanoma cells to be more visible to the immune system, as it improves the response to immunotherapy and increases the ability of lymphocytes to control tumor growth.
The study was coordinated from Navarrabiomed by Dr. Imanol Arozarena Martinikorena, Head of the Cancer Signaling Division, and is part of the doctoral dissertation of the State University of Navarra by Marta Redondo Muñoz, a researcher from the same group.
In 2022, 7,500 new cases of skin melanoma were diagnosed in Spain, and globally, this type of cancer accounts for 3.4% of all cancer cases diagnosed.
Melanoma is responsible for 90% of deaths from skin tumors.
Although melanoma accounts for only 10% of skin cancers, it is responsible for 90% of deaths from skin tumors.
Navarrabiomed designed and developed a course of all research and experiments related to resistance to targeted drugs and the study of the effect of ranolazine on the immunogenicity of melanoma cells.
Tests of immunotherapy in mice and the study of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment were developed at the Institute of Neurology.
On the other hand, individual cell RNA sequencing analyzes were carried out at IRB Barcelona, which made it possible to elucidate in detail the effect of ranolazine on the metabolic state of tumor cells.
The study was made possible by institutional support and funding provided by various organizations such as the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Carlos III Health Institute, the Government of Navarre, the Spanish Multidisciplinary Melanoma Group (GEM) and the Melanoma Research Group. .