An international team of researchers, led by John Gordon, professor of immunology at Birmingham University in the U.K., have discovered that Prozac, the antidepressant taken by millions of people around the world, may stimulate the growth of brain tumors by blocking the body?s natural ability to kill cancer cells.
The study examined the effects of Prozac and other antidepressants on a group of tumor cells growing in a test tube. The researchers found that the drug prevented the cancer cells from committing ?suicide,? leading to a more vigorous growth of the tumors. The scientists tested Paxil and Celexa, and found they, too, had the same effect in stimulating the growth of a type of tumor known as Burkitt’s lymphoma.