Can Drugs for Larons Syndrome Prevent Cancer and Diabetes?
Out of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans, 22 pairs are called autosomes. If one variant of an autosomal gene influences the expression of the other variant of the same gene, the event can lead to the onset of certain disorders like the Larons syndrome.
In the mentioned disorder, the affected individual has a variant of growth receptor hormone in the genes caused by mutation. This causes insensitivity towards the growth hormones. Some of the symptoms of this disorder are:
- Short stature
- Depressed nasal bridge
- Prominent forehead
- Very small penis
- Truncal obesity
- Under-development of mandible
- Low intellectual capacity
- Low blood sugar levels
Presence of low levels of a molecule insulin-like growth factor, which plays an important role in cellular communication, is the main reason for the resistance shown towards diabetes in patients suffering from this condition.
A 22 years long international study carried by out lead researchers from the University of Southern California have found that the risk of developing cancer in Laron’s patients is also low. The results of their study are published in the February 2011 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Knowledge Gained from the Research on Larons Syndrome:
- The participants of the study were 100 members from the slopes of Andes Mountain who mostly suffered from this genetic disorder, along with their 1600 relatives of normal stature.
- While there were no cases of cancer and diabetes in these subjects during the study, 17 percent and 5 percent of the relatives were diagnosed with two worst diseases respectively.
- The affected individuals were found to have low incidences of stroke.
- The average life span of the patients and their relatives was all most the same, with the patients dying more from the complications of substance abuse like dugs and alcohol.
- The research indicates that the high levels of growth factors in the body can be a potential risk factor for cancer similar to the risk of heart ailments caused by increased cholesterol levels.
- Drugs which can bring down the levels of these growth factors can then emerge as potential therapies for cancer and diabetes.
- Foods less in calories and proteins can also naturally produce the same effect of bring down the growth factor.
- The activities of growth factors reduce with age on their own. It implies that the influence of these drugs should be up to a period from where the effects of natural aging would take over the therapeutic role.
- Drugs which block the growth factor hormone are already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating specific conditions like gigantism.
Conclusion:As a part of further research, the experts have to try Larons syndrome drugs in preventing cancer and diabetes in humans. The exact mechanism of how these drugs work while causing these beneficial effects is yet to be known too.