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Home News and Update Year 2010 Drugs ‘Cheat’, Kill Cancer Cells

Drugs ‘Cheat’, Kill Cancer Cells

Times of India
18 November 2010
By Pushpa Narayan
Chennai, India

Enhance Radiation Effects By Weakening Malignant Bodies
India will soon launch a new spectrum of cancer drugs that will enhance the effect of radiation therapy by weakening the ability of the cancer cells to fight back. The drugs, developed by the DRDO, will work on all kinds of cancer, including complicated cases like brain tumours. The therapy, experts say, will increase the success rate of cancer treatment by three times. Similar attempts in the West are yet to give desired results.

Drugs ‘Cheat’, Kill Cancer Cells
The DRDO, after several years of clinical trials, has been able to prove that a compound, 2–Deoxyglucose (2–DG), which resembles glucose but has a slightly different chemical formula and structure, can ‘confuse’ and ‘cheat’ cancer cells to become weak. Cancer cells spend energy in sucking glucose from the body and then derive energy from these cells.

When 2–DG is infused into the body, usually 30 minutes ahead of radiation, the body cells and cancer cells spend energy in sucking glucose. But unlike glucose cells, 2–DG gives them no energy. "The cancer cells lose energy and become incapable of gaining any.

At this time if we give radiation therapy, the cancer cells will not be able to fight back. So the treatment will be effective. This also brings down the intensity of radiation and minimises the side effects," said said BS Dwarakanath, head, division of radiation biosciences, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) of DRDO.

During the research, it was found that 2–Deoxyglucose (2–DG), which resembles glucose showed improved effect on non–surgical treatment of cancers. DRDO is awaiting clearance from the Drugs Controller General of India, after which production will begin. The technology has been transferred to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

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