Antibiotic used on drug-eluting stents may lead to advances in heart disease and cancer treatment

RapamycinScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2010) — Research led by T. Cooper Woods, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and Director of the Molecular Cardiology Research Laboratory at Ochsner Clinic Foundation, has identified the mechanism of how a drug commonly used on stents to prevent reclosure of coronary arteries, regulates cell movement which is critical to wound healing and the progression of diseases like cancer.

The study is published in the April 16th issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The antibiotic, rapamycin, is used on drug-eluting stents implanted during angioplasty because it is effective in preventing restenosis (re-narrowing or reclosure) of arteries. However, rapamycin can also prevent tissue from growing over and covering the metal stents, a critical part of the artery’s healing after angioplasty. Without this protective covering, blood clots can develop many months later, called late stent thrombosis. These clots can lead to a heart attack.

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