EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A Michigan State University researcher was part of a recent discovery in the world of cancer treatment.

Geoffrey Laumet, along with a team of scientists from the University of Lille, the University of Strasbourg and the Pasteur Institute of Lille in France and the University of Coimbra in Portugal, found that an existing drug may be able to help reduce the effects of cisplatin.

Cisplatin, according to MSUToday, was discovered at MSU back in 1965. The drug is used to treat testicular, ovarian, bladder, lung, stomach, head and neck cancers.

Though cisplatin is an effective chemotherapy treatment, the potential side effects of the drug are tough.

According to Mayo Clinic, the common side effects of cisplatin include the following:

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
  • change in frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • cough or hoarseness
  • difficulty in breathing
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • feeling of fullness in the ears
  • fever or chills
  • increased thirst
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of balance
  • loss of hearing
  • lower back or side pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • trouble in hearing
  • unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

Laumet and his team found that the drug istradefylline can alleviate peripheral neuropathy and improve tumor control.

Istradefylline is typically used in combination with other drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease, Mayo Clinic reported.

“The exact interaction between istradefylline and cisplatin remains to be determined but we do know that tumor cells and cells that are stressed by the toxicity of cisplatin will release a lot of adenosines,” Laumet said. “Istradefylline blocks the effects of adenosine.”

Researchers in France and Portugal also found that istradefylline can reduce kidney toxicity.

Testing of the drug has only been done on animal models, with the next step of research to be done in human clinical trials.

Laumet described the preclinical research results as “promising.”

“In the future with istradefylline, the hope is that patients would be able to keep taking cisplatin without side effects or losing the drug’s effectiveness,” said Laumet.