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August 2005 –February 2006: Researchers have published studies that support a potential drug treatment for children with Progeria. Farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs), originally developed for cancer, are capable of reversing the dramatic nuclear structure abnormalities that are the hallmark of cells from children with Progeria.

Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about FTI’s and these recent findings

From the lab of Susan Michaelis at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Seattle. First author: Monica Mallampalli. PRF funded this study. Click here for the article

From the lab of Dr. Thomas Glover at the University of Michigan. First author: Michael W. Glynn. PRF funded this study. Click here for the article

From the lab of Dr. Francis Collins at the National Human Genome Research Institute: First author: Brian Capell. Additional author: PRF’s Medical Director Dr. Leslie Gordon

Capell BC, Erdos MR, Madigan JP, Fiordalisi JJ, Varga R, Conneely KN, et al. Inhibiting farnesylation of progerin prevents the characteristic nuclear blebbing of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2005;102(36):12879-84.

From the lab of Drs. Loren Fong and Steven Young at UCLA. PRF helped fund this study.

Fong LG, Frost D, Meta M, Qiao X, Yang SH, Coffinier C, et al. A protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor ameliorates disease in a mouse model of progeria. Science 2006;311(5767):1621-3.

Here are just a few of the many media outlets that have covered this story:

Cancer Drugs May Fight Rare Rapid-Aging Disease: Sept.29, 2005 (article no longer available)
Research Shows Drugs Could Block Early-Aging Disease (article no longer available)
Cancer Drugs May Fight Rapid-Aging Disease (article no longer available)
Cancer Drugs May Treat Aging Syndrome in Children (article no longer available)
Blocking a Premature Aging Syndrome with Anticancer Drugs (article no longer available)