Silibinin is currently used for the treatment of liver disease and poisoning
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in collaboration with Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered that Silibinin can be applied to treat Cushing Disease in cell cultures, animal models, and human tumor tissue.
Cushing Disease is a rare hormone condition caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland in the brain. The tumor secrets increased amounts of the stress hormone Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH). After silibinin treatment, tumor cells resumed normal ACTH production, tumor growth slowed down and symptoms of Cushing Disease disappeared in mice, according to the scientists.
Silibinin, a constituent of milk thistle seeds has an outstanding safety profile in humans and is currently used for the treatment of liver disease and poisoning.
The researchers have filed a patent and now plan clinical trials using silibinin as a non-invasive treatment strategy. Thus, in future, patients might not have to undergo brain surgery anymore.
The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine.