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Weight-Loss Medicine Could Be Used To Help Fight Cancer

A ground-breaking analysis of the advantages of the well-known obesity treatment and weight-loss medicine GLP-1 has now been published by researchers at Maynooth University‘s Kathleen Lonsdale Institute for Human Health Research.

The research carried out by Dr. Andrew Hogan and his team has found that the popular and gold-standard pharmacological treatment for obesity and weight-loss, glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) analogues, can actually restore NK cell function in the body, including its ability to kill cancerous cells.

The research, published in Obesity, the Obesity Society’s Research Journal, one of the world’s leading peer-reviewed obesity journals, also shows that the restored cancer-killing effect of the NK cells is independent of the GLP-1’s main weight-loss function, so it appears the treatment is directly kick-starting the NK cells’ engine.

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In a news release from the institute, Dr. Andrew E. Hogan, who is Associate Professor and Principal Investigator at the Kathleen Lonsdale Institute for Human Health, Maynooth University, said that “My team and I are very excited by these new findings in relation to the effects of the GLP-1 treatment on people with obesity, and it appears to result in real, tangible benefits for those currently on the drug.

“While these findings will understandably be welcomed by those living with obesity and looking for safe and effective treatments, it must be noted that unfortunately, these treatments are not fully covered by the government’s Drug Payment Scheme.

“With the findings of this research, it’s more important than ever that the HSE work with the government to ensure the benefits of this treatment become available to as many individuals as possible and as soon as possible.

“Secondly, given the recent spike in popularity related to the benefits of the GLP-1 treatment, with global and high-profile celebrities commenting on its success, global demand has increased and resulted in a worldwide shortage of the drug.

“Again, I hope this is something that is brought under control to ensure as many people as possible living with obesity can start their own treatment with this beneficial drug.”