Nexium is a common prescribed heartburn medication that you have probably heard before. It’s also called esomeprazole or the purple pill. Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that decreases the production of acid in the stomach. It was always suspected that a proton pump inhibitor might be beneficial in cancer treatment. Unfortunately no cancer studies were done to test that theory. That was the case until just recently. A breast cancer study just released data we have all been waiting for.
Why Nexium Helps Cancer Treatment?
You are probably asking yourself how can something as simple as a heartburn pill help in cancer treatment? On the surface it might not seem like an easy connection to make. But the connection is actually pretty simple. It has been known for a while that acidity has been shown to create chemotherapy resistance. Acidity is that connection and why Nexium can be of great benefit. The PH of a solid tumor is significantly more acidic than normal tissues. This is due to a complex frame work within the tumor micro-environment. And because of this PH in-balance, the tumors chemotherapy uptake is reduced. The less chemotherapy goes into the tumor, the less efficient the chemo is at fighting the cancer. Chemo resistance is one of the biggest obstacles cancer patients encounter. Nexium can change that.
Nexium reduces stomach acid by inhibiting H+/K+ ATPase in the parietal cells of the stomach. This very same mechanism can inhibit acid inside the tumor micro-environment. This is a very unexpected but welcoming side effect. A simple heartburn pill that treats chemo resistance that has plagued cancer treatment since the beginning is nothing short of amazing. This can be a huge breakthrough in cancer treatment.
Nexium Cancer Study Results.
Ninety four breast cancer patients taking docetaxel plus cisplatin were given nexium to test if it had an effect on response rate. 3 arms were randomly assigned. Arm A was given no proton pump inhibitor. Arm B was given 80 mg of Nexium and Arm C 100 mg. Response rates for Arm A, B and C were 46.9, 71.0 and 64.5 %. The conclusion of the Pilot clinical trial was that high dose proton pump inhibitor enhanced anti-tumor effect of chemotherapy with no added toxicity. Combination treatment also showed improved overall survival.
Tell Us What You Think?
Can a simple heartburn drug finally solve chemo-resistance?