Friday, April 16, 2010


The Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Society, just had their Annual Scientific Meeting at San Francisco, starting April 10th. 2010. Amongst the many papers presented was a very interesting paper, submitted as a poster presentation, by a group of researchers from Melbourne ( Australia ) and Emory ( Atlanta, Georgia ). This group was lead by Dr Karlheinz Peter of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetic institute of Melbourne, Australia. Their work involved the use of an anti-platelet drug which was activated by cold and inactivated by heat. Cold meaning a temp of 22oC and heat meaning a temp >37oC. What that would mean is that when used, and the patient is cooled, the drug acts. Since it is an anti-platelet drug, it means that there is an anti-platelet effect preventing thrombus formation at distal sites. After surgery, once the body is heated up to body temperature, the drug is inactivated, and so controls post-op bleeding. What a smart idea.
Nowadays, it is possible to cool the body down, to slow down metabolism, to reduce organ ischemia. Much of this work is pioneered in the field of heart attacks, where cooling the body was a means of preventing heart muscle damage. The people at William Beaumont Hospital are experts in this and I have seen demonstration of this cooling jacket in use.
Also noted is that in open heart surgery, with the use of the heart lung machine, the body can easily be cooled to the desired temperature, at will. If this drug realy works, then I think that it is a significant breakthrough, both for the drug and also for the concept of temperature related drug therapy, or even broader, an intelligient drug therapy fitted to the body conditions.
It really opens up a whole new field.
Obviously much more work needs to be done. For those interested, the researchers are looking for funding, so they announced. Maybe a smart venture capitalist will pick them up, and make plenty of money.
I am only very intrigue that we could use an induced body state to activate and inactivate drugs. What an intelliegient thing to do. This surely is an intelligient drug, should it be proven safe and effective.

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