Medication for heart conditions improves melanoma treatment

Source: Lab + Life Scientist, September 2023

A collaborative study led by IRB Barcelona, Navarrabiomed and the Institute of Neurosciences CSIC-UMH shows that the administration of ranolazine, a drug currently used to treat heart conditions, improves the efficacy of current therapies for melanoma in mouse models of the disease.

In most cases, patients with melanoma respond well to therapies directed against one of the key genes in tumour progression, namely BRAF. However, they soon develop resistance to these therapies and the tumours grow back. In addition, clinical studies suggest that these patients show a poorer response to immunotherapy.

The new study, published in the journal Nature Metabolism, has provided a deeper understanding of the role of fatty acid metabolism in the development of resistance to BRAF inhibitors and demonstrated the capacity of ranolazine to slow down tumour progression. The drug increases the visibility of melanoma cells to the immune system, thereby improving response to immunotherapies and increasing the ability of lymphocytes to control tumour growth.