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Drug for dry mouth may prevent lung cancer

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8:37am, April 17, 2002

From San Francisco, at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research

A drug that has been prescribed for 30 years for a condition known as dry mouth can also stymie the formation of precancerous lung lesions in cigarette smokers, particularly those who have quit.

Solvay Pharma, a company based near Paris, markets the drug–anethole dithiolethione (ADT)–in several countries, including France and Canada, but has never sought regulatory approval for it in the United States.

ADT induces cells to make extra amounts of an enzyme that can detoxify cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke and other environmental contaminants, say the researchers.

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