Could a Pfizer Cancer Drug be a Treatment for a Form of Dementia? Georgetown University Launches Clinical Trial to Find Out

Dementia Treatment

Georgetown University Medical Center recently launched the only known therapeutic (disease modifying) clinical trial for Lewy body dementia, a neurological disorder afflicting millions in the United States. There are no approved medications that modify this disease. Based on years of preclinical research, the team is investigating whether a Pfizer cancer drug (bosutinib) can be repurposed and used to treat Lewy body dementia.

Preclinical Research

Alpha-synuclein accumulation can cause the loss of dopamine, which controls movement, emotions, attention and other cognitive functions. Other proteins, beta-amyloid and tau, are also thought to contribute to the disease (Lewy body dementia).

Preclinical animal studies have show that bosutinib can lower the levels of alpha-synuclein, tau and beta-amyloid; reverse the loss of dopamine; and reduce inflammation in the brain. These animal studies have revealed that bosutinib may be able to decrease inflammation and reverse dopamine loss at lower doses than what is used for leukemia. Bosutinib is the second investigational drug development by Georgetown Translational Neurotherapeutics Program (TNP) to be validated in animal studies and...

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