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Cancer Drug Prevents Premature Birth

Discussion in 'Girlie Gossip' started by Snowbaby, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Snowbaby

    Snowbaby Active Member

    A CANCER drug might help prevent premature birth, for which there is no safe and effective treatment at present. It is the main cause of death in babies.

    During pregnancy, the hormone hCG keeps the uterus relaxed. Towards the end, the number of receptors that respond to hCG falls, allowing contractions to begin. But sometimes the receptor gene is switched off too early, resulting in premature birth.

    Nick Europe-Finner's team at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, realised that a drug used to treat some types of cancer, called trichostatin A (TSA), should prevent the gene being switched off. The group showed that giving TSA to mice three days before the end of their three-week pregnancy delayed labour by up to two days (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol 90, p 3479).

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