Can a club drug roll over a deadly disease? By Amir Khan
Researchers from the University of Birmingham in England have found a new weapon to fight cancer – Ecstasy. “We found that blood cancer cells make the same proteins that are targeted by Ecstasy in the brain,” says John Gordon, a professor of cellular immunology. “We reasoned that if they have these proteins on them, then Ecstasy might affect them in some way. We found that at very high doses, the drug was able to kill some of them.”
Gordon used a modified form of Ecstasy that is stronger but less toxic than the club drug. “The new form of Ecstasy gets inside the blood cancer cells more easily,” he says. He adds that even though the psychoactive effects of the drug are reduced, he still isn’t sure of the long-term side-effects. “We now need to go through testing to see whether the new drugs work in the body as well as they do in the test tube,” he says.