According to new research, deep vein blood clots can be prevented by a different therapeutic approach
As more than 900,000 people in the U.S. are affected by deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) and more than 25 per cent of the cases result in sudden exitus, the need of a new therapy is higher than ever.
Nowadays, heparin and warfarin are the conventional drugs against DVT/PE, but their caveat is that they dangerously increase the risk of bleeding, by affecting the normal hemostasis process.
According to the new study, common allergy medication may treat the disease by targeting the “mast cells”, as a healthier alternative to anticoagulants.
The research was conducted by Dr. Alexander Brill from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham-UK and published in the Circulation Research Journal.
By studying the gene involved in the development of mast cells, the team of researchers found that mast cell deficiency may prevent blood clots.
“We were surprised by the findings because mast cells contain the strongest natural anticoagulants and we expected that depletion of mast cells would result in a prothrombotic effect. These findings offer new hope for the treatment of DVT without a risk of bleeding. If further human studies support our findings in mice, drugs to block mast cell production could be used in the future alongside lower doses of anticoagulants such as warfarin, significantly reducing bleeding risk,” Dr. Alexander Brill explained.
As by inhibiting mast cells doctors treat allergic reactions, common allergy drugs can be the answer million of patients were waiting for.
“This is particularly exciting because this discovery could help people with DVT sooner rather than later. The main strength of the study is that we were able to prevent DVT using a “backdoor” – the immune system that has no implication in normal hemostasis and therefore targeting it is not supposed to be accompanied by any bleeding complications. As the study was performed on a murine model and its relevance to the human situation should be further proven,” Dr. Brill concluded.
Future human clinical trials will follow in order to clarify the new discovery and set up a prevention plan for both DVT and PE.