The Sci-Files – 10/09/2022 – Hariharan Ramakrishnan – Reducing Chemotherapy Side Effects

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

Hariharan Ramakrishnan sitting in a laboratory with a pipette in his hand with purple gloves on
Hariharan Ramakrishnan in the lab with a pipette

On this week’s The Sci-Files, your hosts, Chelsie and Danny interview Hariharan Ramakrishnan. Cisplatin is an incredibly powerful chemotherapy drug used to treat a variety of cancers. However, its side effects, such as kidney toxicity and painful neuropathy, may result in dose reduction or termination of treatment increasing patient mortality. Physicians must closely monitor the patient’s kidney function during chemotherapy due to the high risk of kidney failure, and the patient’s sensitivity, due to severe pain from peripheral neuropathy. Therefore, there is an urgent medical need for novel therapeutics that limit cisplatin’s side effects. Adenosine receptors are involved in several kidney diseases and neuropathic pain pathophysiology. Hari hypothesizes that blocking adenosine receptors (AR) using Istradefylline, an FDA-approved AR antagonist will alleviate kidney toxicity and pain from cisplatin. He found that administering Istradefylline reduces both the pain hypersensitivity and kidney toxicity induced by cisplatin and the associated inflammation. Since the FDA already approves Istradefylline for treating Parkinson’s disease, it can be quickly clinically applied to cancer therapy. You can learn more about the Laumet lab’s research at their website.
If you’re interested in discussing your MSU research on the radio or nominating a student, please email Chelsie and Danny at [email protected]. You can ask questions about future episodes here. Check The Sci-Files out on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube!