US researchers have said that itraconazole, a drug commonly used to treat toenail fungus, can also block the growth of new blood vessels in cancer.
The study by Johns Hopkins University found that mice treated with itraconazole had 67 percent reduced blood vessel growth.
“We were surprised, to say the least, that itraconazole popped up as a potential blocker of angiogenesis,” pharmacology professor Jun O. Liu said in a release. “We couldn’t have predicted that an anti-fungal drug would have such a role.” The study appears online in ACS Chemical Biology.
“Our screening test did show that cholesterol-lowering statins also appear to stop blood vessel growth,” Jun said, “so there is likely some important connection between cholesterol and angiogenesis.”