A January 4th post by the Lancet’s EBioMedicine headlined the first-in-human pilot study results published by UT Health San Antonio in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic and the Wake Forest School of Medicine. The study involves two oral Senolytic drugs, dasatinib and quercetin (DQ).
THE TARGET: Cellular Senescence
The disease, cellular senescence, involves toxic cells that spread toxicity to surrounding cells. In animal studies, senolytics selectively cleared these toxic cells in mice that model idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive disease resulting in scaring of the lungs and a multitude of other age-related diseases.
Fourteen older adults diagnosed with various levels of IPF were enrolled at UT Health San Antonio and Wake Forest medical school, each receiving the two oral senolytic drugs for three consecutive days each week for three consecutive weeks. The drugs were well tolerated with no discontinuance.
Participants’ mobility was perhaps the most consistent improvement. It is noteworthy that participants’ grip strength and pulmonary function testing remained unchanged.
Frequent adverse events reported from DQ therapy included respiratory symptoms, such as a cough and shortness of breath, gastrointestinal discomfort or heartburn. These symptoms were mild to moderate. Some patients reported biopsy related skin irritation.
Further study is required due to the small size of this trial. A randomized, placebo-controlled study of DQ safety to evaluate any change in biological markers of cellular senescence is in order.