Testing whether drugs that weaken norepinephrine signaling prevent or treat various types of cancer
Paul J Fitzgerald
The Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, Solomon H. Snyder, Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
Abstract: Recently, I put forth the hypothesis that the signaling molecule, norepinephrine (NE), is an etiological factor in a number of types of cancer. In this brief commentary, I summarize evidence that NE plays a role in cancer and describe details involved in testing the hypothesis in humans through epidemiological investigation of existing medical records of persons who have taken pharmaceutical drugs that affect NE. If NE plays an etiological role in cancers of a number of organs, then taking a single pharmaceutical drug (such as clonidine, prazosin, or propranolol) that weakens NE signaling systemically, may simultaneously prevent or treat many different types of cancer, and this may represent a breakthrough in pharmaceutical prevention and possibly treatment of cancer.
Keywords: norepinephrine, acetylcholine, cancer, clonidine, prazosin, propranolol
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