A new kind of cancer drug may be useful in treating autoimmune disorders and preventing transplant patients' bodies from rejecting donor tissue, new research reveals. The drugs seem to promote T-cells, which help regulate the body's immune system, Reuters reports. In mice, the drugs reversed inflammatory bowel syndrome and stopped heart transplant rejections.
Histone deacetlylases inhibitors, or HDACs, are best known as cancer meds, but they also appear to "enhance the body's own immune system's ability to regulate itself," says the head researcher. The drug's rejection-suppressing ability could be particularly good news for Type 1 diabetics, whose pancreatic cell transplants often fail after a year.