Cyclodextrin for treating lymphedema

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A recent patent application of NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE claims for the treatment of lymphedema by using empty cyclodextrin (beta-cyclodextrin selected from methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, 2-hydroxylpropyl-beta-cyclodextrin, or a combination thereof).

Lymphedema, also known as lymphoedema and lymphatic edema, is a condition of localized swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system. The lymphatic system functions as a critical portion of the body’s immune system and returns interstitial fluid to the bloodstream. In general, the swelling occurs at the arms, hands, legs, breast or torso. Lymphedema is most frequently a complication of cancer treatment, parasitic infections, trauma, but it can also be observed in a number of genetic disorders. Tissues with lymphedema are at high risk of infection, fibrosis and malignant transformations because the lymphatic system has been compromised.

There is presently no cure for lymphedema. In particular, there is currently no medication that is suitable for treating lymphedema. Physical, treatment such as compression therapy, good skin care, exercise, and manual lymphatic drainage are commonly recommended to improve the outcome.

The present invention is predicated on the understanding that patients with cancer-associated lymphedema also have symptoms such as inflammation and fibrosis which occur during the late stages of the disease. This results from dying adipocytes which are not able to store the excess of lipids that accumulates in the tissue as the consequence of impaired lymphatic clearance. Based on these findings, the inventors postulated that clearing lipids in a body of an organism will reverse lymphedema and associated tissue changes such as fibrosis and adipocyte loss. It was found that an intradermal injection of cyclodextrin in an animal model of lymphedema was effective in reducing lymphedema. In particular, treatment with cyclodextrin was able to significantly reduce lipid accumulation in tissue, thus reducing tissue swelling and restore lymphatic drainage.

ANGELI, Veronique, Sandrine, TAN, Bien Keem: WO/2021/246966, 09.12.2021

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