Drug For Lung Treatments May Also Help Prevent Lung Cancer

05.19.10 |

A drug used to treat a variety of diseases may also help prevent lung cancer in former smokers. Researchers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Denver tested the drug, called iloprost, to determine whether it had any effect on lung cancer development in smokers and former smokers. They found it does show promise for preventing the disease in those who've kicked the habit, but not for current smokers. Iloprost is approved by the FDA for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension, a connective tissue disease called scleroderma and a nerve condition called Raynaud's phenomenon.

 Cigarette smoke is blamed for 90-percent of all lung cancer cases but only about ten-percent of smokers ever develop that disease. More tend to die of other causes such as heart disease and emphysema. The Iloprost human study was presented at a meeting of the American Thoracic Society in New Orleans.