The Aspergillus fungi can cause a variety of diseases, including allergic bronchial pulmonary aspergillosis and invasive aspergillosis. The first occurs in immunocompetent individuals, whereas invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients who have undergone a bone marrow or other organs transplantation, leukemia and solid tumors at an advanced stage with neutropenia, patients hospitalized in intensive care units and patients with acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS).
All Trans Retinoic Acid (ATRA) is a drug currently utilized for leukemia patients which showed promising results in preclinical studies conducted so far.
"The goal of research - says Elena Campione, group leader at University Tor Vergata - is to get a new pharmacological indication for retinoic acid to be used in the treatment of Aspergillosis and Systemic Candidiasis. The drug may be used both as monotherapy and in combination with other classical systemic antifungal drugs, reducing the dosages of the latter and therefore the related toxicity. ATRA concentration can also be monitored in patients' blood to evaluate the risk of fungal infections ".
"The spread of triazol-resistant fungal strains is now alarming and the scientific community is pursuing as the main goal of identifying new compounds not belonging to this chemical class of substances," says Emanuele Marra, director of the Takis Infectious Disease Unit. "The Collaboration between Dr. Campione and Takis will accelerate the availability of ATRA and therapeutic combinations for the benefit of patients with severe fungal pathologies," says Luigi Aurisicchio, CEO of Takis - thus acting in synergy and integrating their experiences of Basic and Translational Research".
"Preclinical data - says Prof. Augusto Orlandi - confirmed the in vitro efficacy of ATRA in controlling fungal-induced infection, considering the high safety profile of the drug already used in patients, we hope that the path to development can be shorter given the importance of the pathologies to be treated"
For more information: Scoperto un nuovo trattamento per i funghi che causano malattie gravi in polmoni e cute