Posted on Apr 22, 2019, 7 p.m.
Unfortunately for us not all damaged cells die off to be cleared away, some stick around as dysfunctional senescent cells that are unable to divide but still produce harmful chemical signals which play a role in aging. Removing these zombie cells may be beneficial to promote healthy aging and prevent age related diseases.
Based on the early results of a human trial, there may be something to this theory which build on successful animal studies. This trial involves 14 patients with the fatal lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis with a combination of drugs believed to be able to clear out senescent cells.
Combination of dasatinib and quercetin were taken in a senolytic cocktail by the participants in 9 doses over a three week period; patients were able to walk further than previously in the same amount of time and showed other signs of improved well being without any serious side effects by the end of the trial.
“Though small, this pilot study marks a major breakthrough in how we treat age-related diseases such as IPF,” researcher Jamie Justice says. “Here, we’ve therapeutically targeted a fundamental biological hallmark of aging that is implicated in IPF, and we show early but promising results for the first time in human patients.”
Although it will be difficult to prove if the senolytic cocktail will be an effective anti-aging therapy the researchers are committed and determined to find out; the cocktail is already being tested in a separate group of 15 more lung patients as well as another 20 different patients with chronic kidney disease.
“If we see effectiveness signals and don’t encounter really bad side effects, we’ll try to get to people with less and less life-threatening conditions, if everything goes right.” says researcher James Kirkland.
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