Posted on Aug 20, 2015, 6 a.m.
Trametinib, a skin cancer drug, extends lifespan by 12% (fruitfly model).
Trametinib is a drug to treat skin cancer via inhibition of Ras signaling. Nazif Alic, from the University College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues administered trametinib to female fruitflies. Given as an additive in their food at 1.56 µM – approximately equivalent to a daily dose of the drug in a human cancer patients, the investigators observed that the fruit flies' average life expectancy rose by 8%. With a higher dose of 15.6 µM, the flies lived 12% longer on average. To test the anti-aging properties of the drug in later life, fruit flies over 30 days old that had almost all stopped laying eggs were given the same moderate dose of 15.6 µM, and still had an increased life expectancy of 4%. Flies exposed continuously to the drug from an earlier stage in life lived longer than those who began dosing later in life, possibly indicating a cumulative effect of the drug. Writing that: “we demonstrate that adult-onset administration of the drug trametinib, a highly specific inhibitor of Ras-Erk-ETS signaling, can extend lifespan,” the study authors submit that: “inhibition of Ras-Erk-ETS signaling may provide an effective target for anti-aging interventions in mammals.”
Slack C, Alic N, Foley A, Cabecinha M, Hoddinott MP, Partridge L. “The Ras-Erk-ETS-Signaling Pathway Is a Drug Target for Longevity.” Cell. 2015 Jul 2;162(1):72-83.