December 1998 Bulletin

Cancer drug may benefit spinal injuries

A drug being tested in the battle against cancer is showing promise for the treatment of spinal injuries, say researchers at Vanderbilt University.

Of 26 mice with spinal injuries, 24 recovered the ability to walk within 12 days after treatment with CM101, according to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. One died and one remained paralyzed. Of 14 mice with similar injuries that did not receive the drug, eight died; none of the six survivors recovered the function of paralyzed limbs.

CM101, which is being used to fight cancer, blocks the formation of new blood vessels which are needed by rapidly growing tumors. Researchers said CM101 significantly reduced the compression-induced scarring around the spinal cord following injury. The drug was given within an hour after injury and doses were repeated every other day.

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