Cancer-fighting drugs help weight loss
Researchers from the Mayo clinic have found that two common anti-cancer drugs have caused significant weight loss in mice. This effect was seen even though the mice continued consuming a high-fat diet. Originally, this research was conducted to address obesity’s impact on cancer treatment, however the shift of focus occurred once the weight loss was observed. The two drugs, methotrexate and cyclophosphamide were dosed to a level that reversed obesity, but without detectable toxicity. They also tested the drugs in mice without cancer and observed the same results.
The researchers were especially surprised by the ease in which they were able to reverse obesity, when compared to current strategies. They also controlled for other factors that may have influenced the outcome, such as ensuring that the mice were moving the same amount and consuming the same number of calories. The multiple effects of methotrexate and cyclophosphamide all came together to produce this outcome by depleting fat cell precursors. The researchers hypothesised that treatment with these drugs can lead to the liver burning off fat rather than keeping it in storage, however more research must be carried out to explore the full mechanisms of the drugs.